Design, Education, Social Impact

Update: 2016 Fuller Challenge Entries Under Review

May 10, 2016, New York City – The review process to select the 9th recipient of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Challenge award is currently underway.

Solutions have been presented by individuals and teams from across the disciplinary spectrum and include designers, planners, architects, educators, inventors, scientists, engineers, social entrepreneurs, artists, activists, and students.

The entries in this year’s pool propose innovative solutions for a broad span of problem spaces, including agriculture, architecture, art, communication, conservation, design, disaster resilience, economic development, education, energy, health, materials, sanitation, transportation, urban planning, water, and more.

Entries were received from all over the world answering Fuller’s call to “make the world work for 100% of humanity”, tackling some of the most entrenched issues facing our world today. Notably, this year’s pool contained the largest ever share of international submissions, with 52% of submissions hailing from outside of the United States.

While the majority of entrants were new to the Fuller Challenge, 18% of submissions conveyed progress by entrants who have entered in prior cycles. The Fuller Challenge welcomes repeat submissions from participants who wish to demonstrate how their work has evolved in relation to the Fuller Challenge criteria. Two past winners of the Fuller Challenge were repeat entrants.


The review ream is in the midst of an intensive vetting process that requires four months of research, evaluation, discussion, and deliberation. A distinguished group of advisors is called upon for support in reviewing the submissions, often providing targeted input based on their technical expertise.

BFI will announce semi-finalists in late June, finalists in July, and the winner in September. For further information about the review cycle and process, read more here.

In addition to awarding the $100,000 grand prize, BFI will invite the top 10% of entries to join the Catalyst Program, through which the institute offers other forms of support to eligible entrants.


This year, BFI welcomes two outstanding here.


Each year we hear from entrants that the process of engaging with our criteria provides invaluable insight and a thoughtful educational experience. We are delighted to share some of this feedback:

I knew we could not be alone in our systems thinking as a way to solve society’s problems and evolve towards a more sustainable way of life, and am so happy to see not only that Fuller pioneered work in this way of thinking but that the institute helps to support those of us carrying on his legacy to achieve that social change.

Our team found the Challenge evaluation criteria to be an excellent framework for how to design an implementation plan and our new design with the greatest potential for success.

Being asked to account for our work, our approach to life and our commitment to change is always humbling, but also profoundly useful. The questions that BFI poses are vital and in the most significant sense – obligatory.


As a small, non-profit organization operating without an endowment, each year BFI faces the daunting challenge of raising new funds to operate and deliver its programs. We could not do this without the sustained support of our community. If you would like to support the Fuller Challenge in 2016, please consider making a donation to the Buckminster Fuller Institute today.