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Challenge 2010

CONFERRING CEREMONY National Press Club, Washington DC JUNE 2, 2010

About The Buckminster Fuller Challenge R. Buckminster Fuller challenged himself and the world “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offence or disadvantage to anyone.” Fuller coupled this intention with a pioneering approach aimed at solving complex problems. This approach, which he called comprehensive, anticipatory design science, combines an emphasis on individual initiative and integrity with whole systems thinking, scientific rigor and faithful reliance on nature’s underlying principles. Fuller’s challenge inspired BFI to launch The Buckminster Fuller Challenge in 2007 to to support the development and implementation of a solution that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. Entries must present a bold, visionary, tangible initiative that is focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. They should be regionally specific yet globally applicable, and backed up by a solid plan and the capability to move the solution forward.

OmniOculi, a limited edition sculpture created by Tom Shannon for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Winner

“If success or failure of the planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do ... How would I be? What would I do?” — Buckminster Fuller

2010 REVIEW TEAM Each year entries are vetted for compliance with the entry criteria and eligibility requirements. Several rounds of in-depth dialogue take place amongst the review team over the course of eight weeks to determine which entries will be advanced to the Jury. The review team was drawn from a group of people with experience in new media and media ecology, geo visualization, education, science, engineering, energy, urban and community planning, design, social investing, sustainability, art, architecture, philanthropy and the life and work of Buckminster Fuller. BFI staff, associated experts, fellows and BFI board members all participated on the Review Team this year.

CRITERIA • COMPREHENSIVE - applies a whole systems approach to all facets of the design and development process; aims to simultaneously address multiple goals, requirements, conditions and issues. • ANTICIPATORY - factoring in critical future trends and needs as well as projected impacts of implementation in the short and long term. • ECOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE - reflecting nature’s underlying principles while enhancing the Earth’s life-support systems. • FEASIBLE- Relying primarily on current technology and existing resources.

They include: Geeta Aiyer Joshua Arnow Mark Beam Kirk Bergstrom Bonnie DeVarco Will Elkins Sahar Gharheri Lucilla Marvel David McConville JenJoy Roybal Elizabeth Thompson Ashley Thorfinnson Jonathan Tucker David Walczyk Greg Watson Tim White

• VERIFIABLE - Able to withstand rigorous empirical testing. • REPLICABLE- Able to scale and adapt to a broad range of conditions.

We want the winning solution to be what Fuller called a trimtab Trimtabs are small steering devices used on ships and airplanes which demonstrate how relatively small amounts of leverage, energy, and resources strategically applied at the right time and place can produce maximum advantageous change.


Bunker Roy of The Barefoot College

Barefoot Women Solar Engineers of Africa, Asia and Latin America

The Barefoot approach has reached remote rural inaccessible villages in 15 of the least developed countries in Africa. Illiterate rural mothers and grandmothers who have never left their villages in their lives within 6 months of training (without using the written word) in India have solar electrified their own villages.


Stacey Murphy, BK Farmyards

Call to Farm:FarmShare

FarmShare reconnects farmers and consumers as co-producers of the foodscape. The strategy uses social media to pool all the resources of Brooklyn into a crowd-sourced decentralized farm. Voting for local food with their forks already, Brooklyn food activists will pool their time and their waste in A Call to Farm.


Martin Felsen + Sarah Dunn, UrbanLabs


Chicagoans discard over one billion gallons of Great Lakes water per day. This “wastewater” never replenishes one of the world’s most vital resources. As a remedy, this project re-conceives the Chicago street-grid as a holistic Bio-System that captures, cleans and returns wastewater and storm-water to the Lakes via “Eco-Boulevards.”


Jason F. McLennan and Eden Brukman

Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge is a visionary strategy for creating a socially just, culturally rich and ecologically benign built environment. Rather than providing points for incremental improvements in building performance, it measures success against the end goal of true sustainability and provides a framework for restoring balance in the human ecosystem.


Allan Savory and Team

Operation Hope: Permanent water and food security for Africa’s impoverished millions

This project demonstrates how to reverse desertification of the world’s savannas and grasslands by applying Holistic Management, an approached developed and pioneered by Allan Savory. Large-scale application can contribute enormously to mitigating climate change, biomass burning, drought, flood, drying of rivers and underground waters, disappearing wildlife, massive poverty, social breakdown, violence and genocide.


Martin Buchholz and Team

Watergy Greenhouse

Watergy is a bionic concept, immitating the biosphere within an enclosure, using wind, rain and related energy dissipation. It allows 85% recycling of irrigation water, while accumulation of CO2 leads to higher rates of photosynthesis. Further applications are plant protection (no pesticides), processing of greywater, desalination and heat supply.

2008 Winning Solution

John Todd

Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia

John Todd is a leading pioneer in ecological design. He pulls from his life-long experience to develop a visionary approach to restore and heal the Appalacian region. A four-part strategy incorporates dextoxifying the soils, carbon sequestration, renewable energy, institutional modeling and ecomomic development. The solution operates from a deep understanding of the “preferred state�, a major component of the criteria for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

2009 Winning Solution

Smart Cities Group, MIT

Sustainable Personal Mobility/Mobility on Demand

Mobility-on-Demand systems utilize fleets of shared-use lightweight electric vehicles placed at automatic charging racks throughout city. The CityCar and RoboScooter, both folding vehicles, minimize parking space and can be picked-up and dropped-off at any rack. Mobility-on-Demand systems maximize mobility and dramatically reduce congestion and pollution through energy and land-use efficiency.

THE 2010 JURY The proposals have undergone a rigorous review for adherence to the entry criteria and interviews with the individual or team behind the strategy. They were advanced from a pool of 215 entries submitted that were then narrowed down to 30 semi-finalists. A panel of 11 distinguished jurors – all internationally recognized leaders in design and sustainability, met for an intense and lively deliberation April 20, 2010. The selection of the winner, runner-up and four honorable mentions was unanimous.

Jury Member


As a former design director and Assistant Commissioner at New York City’s Department of Design and Construction, Hillary Brown founded its Office of Sustainable Design. She was managing editor of the nationally and internationally recognized City of New York High Performance Building Guidelines, co-author of the U.S. Green Building Council’s State and Local Green Building Toolkit, and author of Implementing High Performance Buildings. Additionally, she envisioned and has coauthored the just-released High Performance Infrastructure: Best Practices for the Public Right-Of-Way for New York City and the Design Trust for Public Space

Jury Member


Ryan Chin is the Project Leader for the 2009 winning solution of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. He is a fourth-year PhD student at the MIT Media laboratory in the Smart Cities research group. He is building the car of the future – a foldable, stackable, sharable, electric, twopassenger city vehicle that rethinks urban mobility. This work, in collaboration with General Motors, takes into account problems of parking, congestion, energy efficiency, pollution, communication, and considers the best and most efficient uses of available resources in urban environments.

Jury Member

2010 JURY

Jennifer Corriero is an innovator and leader, bringing tremendous insight into understanding, reaching and motivating youth. Jennifer’s experience includes developing and driving youth programs related to technology, collaboration and entrepreneurship, and has designed and delivered an extensive range of interactive learning experiences with the aim of empowering youth as community leaders.


Jury Member


Sasha is the Director of Business Development at Acumen Fund, a global non-profit that invests in enterprises that serve the poor. In this role, he leads up capital raising globally for Acumen Fund and is responsible for creating an engaged, vibrant, and connected community of Acumen Fund Partners, Advisors and supporters around the world. He is a member of Acumen Fund’s leadership team. Sasha is also a successful blogger on storytelling, nonprofits and philanthropy at http://sashadichter.wordpress. com, where he made a splash with his Manifesto for Nonprofit CEOs.

Jury Member


Mitchell Joachim earned a Ph.D at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MAUD Harvard University, M.Arch. Columbia University, BPS SUNY at Buffalo with Honors. He is a Co-Founder of Terrefuge & Terreform ONE. Currently he is faculty at Columbia University and Parsons. Formerly an architect at Gehry Partners, and Pei Cobb Freed. He has been awarded the Moshe Safdie Research Fellowship, and the Martin Family Society Fellow for Sustainability. His project, Fab Tree Hab, has been exhibited at MoMA and widely published.

2010 jury Jury Member Jury Member + Guest Panelist


President of Viewpoints Research Institute, Inc., is one of the earliest pioneers of object-oriented programming, personal computing, and graphical user interfaces. His contributions have been recognized with the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering[1] “for the vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers,” the Alan M. Turing Award from the Association of Computing Machinery “for pioneering many of the ideas at the root of contemporary object-oriented programming languages, leading the team that developed Smalltalk, and for fundamental contributions to personal computing.”

Jury Member


Jonathan F.P. Rose’s business, not-forprofit and public policy work all focus on creating a more environmentally, socially and economically responsible world. In 1989, Mr. Rose founded Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, consulting and investment firm, as a leading green urban solutions provider. The firm currently manages over $1.5 billion of work, much of it in close collaboration with not-for-profits, towns and cities.

Jury Member


Susan S. Szenasy is Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis, the award-winning New York City-based magazine of architecture, culture, and design. Since 1986 she has lead the magazine through years of landmark design journalism, achieving domestic and international recognition. She is internationally recognized as an authority on sustainability and design. She has been honored with two IIDA Presidential Commendations, is an honorary member of the ASLA, and the 2008 recipient of the ASID Patron’s Prize and Presidential Commendation as well as the SARA/NY medallion of honor.

2010 jury Jury Member Jury Member + Guest Panelist


Hardin Tibbs is a UK-based strategy consultant and futures researcher with extensive experience of scenario-based strategic thinking. His work is focused on helping organizations move forward with confidence in an environment marked by accelerating social and technological change, and rising economic and environmental instability. He has worked with major companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. This work has spanned a wide range of industries, government areas and institutions.presentations on futurerelated topics.

Jury Member


John Thackara is Director of Doors of Perception. Founded as a conference in Amsterdam in 1993, Doors of Perception now organises festivals and projects around the world in which grassroots innovators work with designers to imagine sustainable futures - and take practical steps to realize them. In addition to event production, John Thackara also helps cities and regions build next-generation institutions. A former London bus driver, and later a book and magazine editor, John was the first Director (1993-1999) of the Netherlands Design Institute. of City Eco Lab at Cite du Design in St Etienne, the main French design biennial.

Jury Member


JosĂŠ A. Zaglul is the President of EARTH University, an international, private, not-for-profit institution in Costa Rica, dedicated to preparing leaders with ethical values to contribute to the sustainable development of the tropics and to construct a prosperous and just society. Dr. Zaglul has been President of EARTH University since its inception in 1989 and has provided the vision and leadership for this innovative institution and its unique educational environment that encourages the development of responsible leadership based on values, social commitment, environmental consciousness, academic excellence and an entrepreneurial and enterprising spirit.

The Buckminster Fuller CHallenge fellowship The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Fellowship combines engagement in the review process of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge through a seminar component that explores Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science (CADS), a “whole-systems” approach to solving complex problems, developed by Buckminster Fuller. The fellowship is designed to engage outstanding and motivated graduate students in critical thinking and decision-making using the BFI Challenge entries as context to provide practical, ‘hands-on’, pedagogical experience assessing CADS-based design.

Sahar Ghaheri is a designer and artist who grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received a BFA in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis and continued her studies at the Design Skolen Kolding in Denmark with a concentration in Industrial Design. She held an internship at Karim Rashid in New York and is presently pursuing a masters degree in Industrial Design at Pratt Institute and part of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies Interns for Change.

Jonathan Tucker is a graduate architecture student at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He hopes to further engage sustainable design practices throughout his education and career, and expects his involvement with the Challenge to be a great learning experience towards this goal. Tucker is excited to be participating on the the Challenge review panel. He anticipates an amazing variety of inspirational submissions, and is honored to contribute to the selection process.

Ashley Thorfinnson is an industrial designer who grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She is currently a second year graduate student at Pratt Institute in Industrial Design. Approaching design from a background in environmental studies and art, she is passionate about the idea of creating products, systems, and solutions that affect change on numerous scales through careful consideration of aesthetics, materiality, context and intent. More about her work can be found at

The Buckminster Fuller CHallenge idea index

The IDEA INDEX was created as a tool to support our efforts to promote and disseminate comprehensive, integrated design science solutions. A web-based searchable repository for entries to The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, it currently contains over 500 solutions and represents a growing pool of knowledge created to: inspire collaboration amongst participants; encourage academic research: engage the public.

objectives Educational: Situate the Index as a "go to" pedagogical resource for educators at all levels. Informational: Develop, showcase and promote a curated collection of the most comprehensive solutions to the world’s critical needs. Social: Facilitate synergy between related initiatives Technological: Create an open source platform for presentation, learning, and dialogue that advances understanding and use of the essential principles, processes, strategies, models, for both conceiving and implementing comprehensive solutions.

“BFI is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and ecosystem health.”

The Buckminster Fuller Institute is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and the health of our planet’s ecosystems. We aim to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity. Our programs combine unique insight into global trends and local needs with a comprehensive approach to design. We encourage participants to conceive and apply transformative strategies based on a crucial synthesis of whole systems thinking, Nature’s fundamental principles, and an ethically driven worldview.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Allegra Fuller Snyder, Emeritus Neal Katz, President Kirk Bergstrom, Vice President David Walczyk, Treasurer Lucilla Marvel, Secretary Mark Beam Joseph Clinton Rob Kenner Lynette Kessler Martin Leaf Jonathan Marvel David McConville Jaime Snyder

By facilitating convergence across the disciplines of art, science, design and technology, our work extends the profoundly relevant legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller. In this way, we strive to catalyze the collective intelligence required to fully address the unprecedented challenges before us. The Buckminster Fuller Institute is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, founded in 1983.

Greg Watson Hans Meyer, 09

BFI STAFF Griffin Goldsmith, Intern Will Elkins, Administrative Coordinator JenJoy Roybal, Program Manager Jean Tesoriero, Accounting Jessica Schwartz Hahn, Public Relations Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Director

This program was made possible by the generous support of the following institutions and foundations: Anonymous The Atwater Kent Foundation The Civil Society Institute The James Dyson Foundation The Highfield Foundation The Jewish Communal Fund Cedomir Kovacev and Ann Morris

Materials For The Arts The Members of The Buckminster Fuller Institute Rudolf Steiner Social Finance Fund Pratt Institute Center for Sustainable Design

The 2010 conferring ceremony & related programs in Chicago supported by : AIA, Chicago The Arena Stage, Washington, DC American University School of International Service The Cosmos Club

The Eluminati Hyatt Regency Hotels Bill McDonough + PartnersChicago The National Press Club

And through the generous financial support of the following people: Allegra Fuller Snyder Christopher & Sharon Saul Davis Nancy LaSalle Serge Smirnoff & Nancy Milliken Alexandra and Sam May

Peter Meisen Philip Moore Willian Ackerman Charles Biderman Josh Pang

We would also like to extend our thanks to the following people: Joshua Arnow Robert Kenner Jaime Snyder Joao Amorim Ben Arnow Geeta Ayer Michael Ben-Eli Mark Beam Brooklyn Brewery Hilary Brown The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Fellows The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Jury Ryan Chin Rick Denny Bonnie DeVarco Griffin Goldsmith Gloria Guerrero Matt Howard Debra Johnson

Ben Loeffler Stephen Martin Lucilla Marvel Alexandra May David McConville The School of Design Strategies, Parsons Jonathan Rose Companies Tom Shannon Rachel Steinberg Susan Szenasy Hardin Tibbs Victoria Vesna David Walczyk Greg Watson The White Family The Whitney Museum of American Art

please JOIN US! thursday, june 3, 2010 architecting the future: a world design science decade 2010-2020 American University 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW 9am-4pm Join Challenge jurors, finalists, review team members and others for a lively, interactive strategy session in which we will explore the best practices, leverage points and synergies needed to extend and accelerate the implementation of wholesystems/design science solutions to solve our urgent interrelated crises. Participants range from thought leaders to breakthrough design pioneers actively applying this approach in their search for what Bucky called trimtab solutions. The urgency of humanity's need to 'turn the ship around' within the next decade sets forth the context for our meeting together. We encourage you to come, ready to participate! Lunch will be served. Program schedule here. registration is required and can be done at the sign-in table. For more information call 718.290.9280

FEATURED PLAY ON BUCKY! Thrusday, June 3, 2010


8 pm

R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE At Arena Stage Crystal City, VA to purchase tickets go to This critically acclaimed production is the closest thing to spending an evening with the design science visionary, inventor of the geodesic dome, and pioneer of the green movement. The L.A. Times called it “a tour-de-force re-creation of a Fuller talk, one that is—like the man—physical, metaphysical, intellectual, eclectic, challenging and hugely entertaining."

Immediately following the performance registered participants will be invited to attend a special post-show reception with the actor, director, producer and dignitaries from Arena Theatre and other special guests.


The Buckminster Fuller Institute | 181 N11th St | Suite 402 | Brooklyn, NY 11211 T: 718 290 9283 | F: 718 290 9281 |

support our work 82% of all financial contributions go directly toward program implementation. We invite you to become an active participant of the Buckminster Fuller Institute Network by generously supporting our organization’s programs.

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12:00 Welcome Buckminster Fuller Allegra Fuller Snyder, Bucky’s Daughter and co-founder of BFI The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Director, BFI Statement from the Jury Jose Zaglul, Founder of EARTH University 12:30 Presentation of the Finalists Hillary Brown, Civicactions Presentation of Honorable Mentions Hardin Tibbs Presentation by the two remaining finalists TBD 1:00 Announcement of Runner-up and Winner Acceptance Speech TBD 1:30 Q&A with Winner Moderator: Susan Szenasy, Metropolis Editor Closing Remarks END 2:00 Reception

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is a program of the Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Buckminster Fuller Institute | 181 N11th St | Suite 402 | Brooklyn, NY 11211 T: 718 290 9283 | F: 718 290 9281 |

2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Program for print  

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