Education, Social Impact

Reflections from Edie Farwell on The Fuller Challenge Symposium

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award ceremony was a much-needed immersion in good news stories. Project after project of what is, in fact, working well in worldwide efforts to create whole systems solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges. Panel after panel of talented, caring, truly good people designing and delivering sustainability solutions. What a treat. An encouraging balm after this year of relentless attacks on land, people, climate, the environment, civility. If only we could replicate the weekend events all over the county, and have everyone experience a day of positive solutions, creative people and infectious enthusiasm. It would go a long way to shifting the tide to a country-wide focus on what’s possible, what works.

Systems thinking approaches to understanding and intervening in complex and interrelated problems are needed now more than ever to create wide-scale social and environmental solutions. BFI did a magnificent job designing an event that highlighted the ingenious water storage system of Challenge winner Bhungroo, and the equally impressive designs of the runners-up and finalists. As well, BFI invited the winners of the previous nine years to celebrate this 10th anniversary milestone together. The diversity of prize winning solutions and the symposium panels where had a full day to discuss approaches, designs and collaborations was truly inspiring. I came away motivated, engaged, uplifted. And very grateful that the Challenge Award has found and supported such excellent design thinking around the country, and the world. May the momentum grow.

Edie Farwell, Executive Director
Sustainability Leaders Network