About the Challenge

"Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award"

Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, entrepreneurs, planners, designers, architects, activists, artists, and students 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.


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.


Each year, a $100,000 prize is awarded to support the ongoing development and implementation of one outstanding design solution. The winning individual or team is celebrated at a Conferring Ceremony in New York City and, along with a check for $100,000, receives the prestigious OmniOculi award sculpture created for The Fuller Challenge by artist Tom Shannon.

The winners of the Challenge also receive all of the benefits of our Catalyst Program.

The 2016 Call for Proposals is now available.

The Fuller Challenge has three separate application fees.
There is a 25% early bird discount to the General Application fee
for applicants who submit by February 17, 2016 17:00 EST.



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 the Fuller Challenge annual cycle, and information about the selection process.

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.

Recommend a Project

We are looking for visionary social and environmental solutions from across the globe to win $100,000. Do you know of a project that demonstrates comprehensive problem solving and anticipatory design? Please enter their project name and contact information here.