About the Challenge

THE CHALLENGE

"Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award"

Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, students, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

THE INSPIRATION

Buckminster Fuller led a prolific life of research, invention, writing and teaching. He developed a comprehensive systems approach to understanding complex global problems. By rigorously adhering to his unique set of “design science” principles, Fuller’s work embodies a deeply attuned ecological aesthetic. Fuller conceived and prototyped new strategies intended to enable all of humanity to live lives characterized by freedom, comfort and dignity without negatively impacting the earth’s ecosystems or regenerative ability. He emphasized that the technology and know-how already exist to successfully surmount our global challenges and advocated “doing more with less” by increasing the overall performance of every resource invested in a system.

Fuller issued an urgent call for a creative revolution to “make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” Answering this call is what the Fuller Challenge is all about.

Criteria

Winning the Fuller Challenge requires more than a stand-alone innovation that focuses on one aspect of a system failure. BFI looks for holistic strategies that demonstrate a clear grasp of the big-picture dynamics influencing successful interventions.

Selection Process

Check here for an overview of important dates for the 2014 Challenge Cycle.

The Grand Prize

Each year, a $100,000 cash prize is awarded to support the ongoing development and implementation of one outstanding design solution. The winning individual or team receives round trip airfare and accommodations to a conferring ceremony in New York City as well as the prestigious OmniOculi award sculpture created for The Fuller Challenge by artist Tom Shannon.

Catalyst Program

The Fuller Challenge offers more than a single financial award. In addition to the $100,000 grand prize, BFI leverages further resources for finalists and semi-finalists through relationships with our sponsors, partners and networks.

Testimonials

What does it mean to take the Fuller Challenge?