Who We Are
The Buckminster Fuller Institute consists of a dedicated Board of Directors, an international network of cross-disciplinary thinkers and doers, motivated volunteers and a small but multi-faceted staff working within our Brooklyn, NY office.
Staff members include:
|Will Elkins ⋅ Manager, Dymaxion Artifacts
718 290 9280 ⋅ will(at)bfi(dot)org
Will first began at BFI in 2007 as an eager volunteer inspired by Bucky's ideas and desire for a more sustainable path for the planet. He has worked in several roles at BFI and manages the Dymaxion Artifacts store. Will is also developing opportunities to educate and inspire the 'post-Bucky' generation with lectures and conversations about Bucky's mission and BFI's work towards achieving it. Will is an active explorer of NYC waterways and advocate for transforming the urban estuary from a state of pollution towards a vibrant ecosystem and active environment; thus his active leadership role with the North Brooklyn Boat Club where he serves as canoe instructor and trip leader. Many of his own projects and creative endeavors are chronicled on his website: outerspacecities.com
|Pablo Freund ⋅ Managing Director
718 290 9280 ⋅ p.freund(at)bfi(dot)org
Pablo is BFI's Managing Director, overseeing operations and development. He began his work at BFI as a Research Fellow during his a graduate studies in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York City. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller's insights on education and the deployment of technology and design as a means to deliver improved standards of living to all in the world, he is committed to continue championing this vision into the future to achieve meaningful and lasting change. His academic work has focused on appropriate technology, energy and sustainable development. He received his Bachelor degrees in Economics and History of Art and Architecture from Brown University, after which he pursued a career in financial services, structuring complex transactions for entrepreneurs and companies throughout the world for the New York City branch of the Swiss bank UBS AG.
|Toshiro (TC) Kida: Media + Communications Manager
718 290 9280 ⋅ tc(at)bfi(dot)org
Toshiro comes to BFI with backgrounds in both graphic design and grassroots disaster response organizing. With an undergraduate degree in graphic design from Yale University and an MA in poverty and development from the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, UK, he enjoys bringing a multidisciplinary approach to the graphic design and media-related needs of The Buckminster Fuller Institute. He also runs his own freelance graphic design practice at TCK Design.
|Sarah Skenazy: Program Manager
718 290 9283 ⋅ sarah(at)bfi(dot)org
Sarah joined BFI in the spring of 2013 as a Program Fellow, researching applicant proposals to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge and serving on the review team. As Program Manager, she is now responsible for the design and expansion of several initiatives of the Institute, including the Challenge Program and related Accelerator Program for both national and international partners. With a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and a background in cooperatives, environmental and social justice education, non-profit planning, editing, and the arts, Sarah brings a diverse set of skills to the BFI team and a strong commitment to leverage narratives of whole-systems design to support a shift towards more resilient ecosystems and increased social equity.
| Elizabeth Thompson ⋅ Executive Director
718 290 9285 ⋅ et(at)bfi(dot)org
Elizabeth Thompson has catalyzed the development of a variety of cultural and educational initiatives throughout her 20+ year career. Her impact in both the non-profit and for-profit realms has centered around the creation, dissemination and 'synergizing' of leading edge ideas, people, and networks of communities across disciplinary boundaries and media platforms. These include the worlds of contemporary art, experimental theatre, global change activism + information technology, and whole systems design.
Ms. Thompson currently serves as the Executive Director of The Buckminster Fuller Institute. Since her tenure began in 2004, she has led BFI through a critical organizational transition launched with the move of BFI to NYC after it's location in California of its first 20 years. Under her leadership BFI has reconstituted its mission, staff, board, and program focus. She has incubated a number of educational initiatives, led the preservation and restoration of several iconic large-scale Fuller artifacts, and served as advisor or curator to numerous contemporary art exhibitions, books, articles, films, digital media, etc. . In 2007 she developed and launched The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, recently recognized as socially-responsible design’s highest award. She is a frequent panelist and lecturer on the contemporary relevance of Bucky's work.
James Herschfeld ⋅ Bookkeeper
718 290 9280 ⋅ james(at)bfi(dot)org