Arch + Eng, Art, Design, Education, Sci + Tech, Social Impact

Five Days Left to Take Buckminster Fuller’s Challenge

With only 5 days to go until the March 31st deadline for Fuller Challenge entrants, the Buckminster Fuller Institute is thrilled to invite our entire network to explore the Challenge criteria and reflect on the questions posed through our dynamic application process. BFI Executive staff and Senior Review Team members recently hosted a series of educational webinars for interested community members and potential Fuller Challenge applicants where they gave a short presentation on the history and inspiration behind the Fuller Challenge, unpacked each individual essay prompt in the 2015 application, and answered live questions. You can download and watch the most recent webinar from this page.

Are you or someone you know working on a holistic solution to make the world work for 100%? Read below for more information on what we are looking for and APPLY NOW!


The Fuller Challenge invites activists, architects, artists, designers, entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, students and planners from all over the world to submit their 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. BFI’s growing Catalyst Program provides additional resources and support for dozens of additional project leaders and teams. Winning entries for the last seven years have applied a rare combination of pragmatic, visionary, comprehensive and anticipatory thinking to tackling issues as broad as urban mobility, coastal restoration and innovation in biomaterials packaging.


Buckminster Fuller led a prolific life of research, invention, writing and teaching. He developed a comprehensive systems approach to understanding complex global problems and a unique set of “comprehensive anticipatory design science” principles that embodied 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 capacity. He posed a challenge to the global community 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.”

We at the Buckminster Fuller Institute invite you to take the challenge, share your strategies with us and APPLY TODAY!


BFI seeks initiatives that tackle urgent needs at a range of scales: from macro-strategies that have the potential for widespread impact, to local, community-based initiatives with global relevance and replicability. Proposals at any stage of development will be reviewed; non-profit, for-profit and hybrid initiatives are all eligible. An application consists of ten required and three optional essay questions, ranging in length from 50 to 250 words. Supplemental materials in either text or media form are welcome to further illustrate the application, though they are not required. Content questions can be directed to Sarah Skenazy at [email protected]; any technical questions about the submission platform, or issues related to submitting an application can be directed to Natalie Bender at [email protected], with the subject line: “Buckminster Fuller Challenge Application Question”.


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 all facets of the design and development process; aim to simultaneously address multiple goals, requirements and conditions

Anticipatory – factor in critical future trends and needs as well as the projected impacts of project implementation in the short and long term

Ecologically Responsible – reflect nature’s underlying principles while enhancing the Earth’s life support systems

Feasible – demonstrate the solution is possible; rely on existing technology; have a solid team capable of implementing the project

Verifiable – able to withstand rigorous empirical testing; claims made must be authentic

Replicable – able to scale and 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.