The Countdown Begins

Enter the Challenge!

The Buckminster Fuller Institute announced the Call for Proposals to the 2014 Fuller Challenge last month. With only four weeks left to enter to win the Grand Prize of $100,000, the search is on for visionary social, environmental, and economic solutions from all over the world.


“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Fuller posed this challenge to architects, artists, designers, educators, entrepreneurs, scientists, students and planners to leverage their creative genius to create a world that works for 100% of humanity.


Each year, the Fuller Challenge awards a $100,000 prize to a winning strategy that demonstrates a breakthrough, whole-systems approach to solving a complex and urgent problem. In addition to the cash prize, semi-finalists and finalists in the Challenge gain access to BFI’s newly launched Catalyst Program, which includes opportunities for mentoring, pro-bono legal services, fiscal sponsorship, international press coverage, and special invitations to present at conferences and exhibitions. Thirty-five applicants benefited from the Program in 2013 and the advantages to engagement continue to grow.


Are you or someone you know working on a whole systems solution to make the world work for 100%? Read below for more information on what we are looking for, download the full Call for Proposals, and APPLY!

The deadline for entries is Friday, April 11, 2014, at 5pm EST.


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.


Winning the Fuller Challenge requires more than a stand-alone idea or 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 your intervention. If a proposal emphasizes a new design, material, process, service, tool or technology, it is essential that it be part of an integrated strategy that deals effectively with key social, environmental and economic factors.

BFI seeks initiatives that tackle urgent needs at a range of scales: from macro-strategies that have the potential for widespread, tangible impacts, to local, community-based initiatives with global relevance and replicability. A highly competent project team with the capacity and commitment to move the solution forward for transformative impact is essential.

Entries must meet the following criteria:

  • Visionary – put forth an original idea or synthesize existing ideas into a new strategy that creatively addresses a critical need
  • Comprehensive – apply a “whole-systems” approach to the design and implementation process; aim to address multiple goals, requirements and conditions in a holistic way
  • Anticipatory – factor in critical future trends and needs as well as the projected impacts of implementation in the short and long term
  • Ecologically Responsible – reflect nature’s underlying principles while enhancing the ability for natural systems to regenerate
  • Feasible – rely on current technology, existing resources and a solid team capable of implementing the project
  • Verifiable – able to withstand rigorous testing and make authentic claims
  • Replicable – able to be adapted to similar conditions elsewhere

Winning initiatives integrate these criteria into powerful design solutions that have the potential to play a significant role in the transition to an equitable and sustainable future for all.

To receive updates on the 2014 Fuller Challenge, please contact [email protected].