Catalyst Program

Each year the BFC program awarded resources and support to an additional 40-60 projects through our Catalyst Program (including semifinalists, finalists, and the winner). The broader Catalyst Program group included projects that represented the top 20% of the entry pool. Benefits of the Catalyst Program included opportunities for additional funding, pro-bono legal services, fast-track access to accelerator programs, mentorship opportunities, and international press coverage.

In 2013, we created a Catalyst Program in order to extend the resources and support to more projects. Catalyst Program entrants typically constituted the top 20% of the entry pool, and were vetted by the review team. While these projects did not necessarily fulfill the BFC criteria to the degree that the semifinalists did, they were projects that excelled in their particular discipline or problem space.

Benefits of the Catalyst Program included opportunities for additional funding, pro-bono legal services, fast-tracked access to accelerator programs, mentorship opportunities, and international press coverage. In total we were able to extend over $750,000 in additional funding and support to qualified projects.

For example, In 2013 and 2014, select applicants were the recipients of additional funding procured through BFI. In 2015 and 2016, the BFC staff vetted Catalyst Program projects to receive grants from the World Centric giving program. Over the years, the Catalyst Program pool served as a source of rigorously vetted projects for other award programs, and our projects were recognized by the Autodesk Foundation, the World Habitat Awards, the World Design Impact Prize, The Roddenberry Foundation, the INDEX: Award, the Biomimicry Institute, and more. In some cases, as with the Katerva Awards, the BFC program served as a global spotter, and projects from our entry pool were automatically nominated.

Qualifying NGOs and social enterprises benefited from pro-bono legal assistance via BFI's referral process with the Thomson Reuters Foundation's global TrustLaw program. Up to two Fuller Challenge entrants had the opportunity to be selected from the general entry pool for nomination as Echoing Green Fellows each year in fulfillment of the BFC's Fast Track partnership with Echoing Green. Qualifying innovators were referred for inclusion in dMASS Inc.'s depository of innovations, which facilitates the relationship between resource performance leaders and investors. Qualifying solutions were also referred for inclusion in Technology Exchange Lab's depository of appropriate technology solutions for issues of poverty. Select entrants were invited to present their work at future Bioneers conferences.

Additional opportunities to present work at events organized by BFI included Greenbuild, Architecting the Future symposia, Black Mountain College International Conference, The Cooper Union Institute of Sustainable Design lectures, and other international symposia on Buckminster Fuller, sustainable culture events, design conferences and social entrepreneurship gatherings.

Emergent Structures
2015 Catalyst Program

Emergent Structures has developed a multi-pronged strategy for construction and demolition waste transformation with localized wealth creation resulting from these material flows. Through on-ground iteration, inclusive design practices, and multi-stakeholder collaboration, we've developed the tools, knowledge, and capacity to facilitate the successful application of this process in other cities.

Ennead Lab
2015 Catalyst Program

F.R.E.D. (Fostering Resilient Ecological Design) is a cross-disciplinary project that develops whole-systems approaches for re-building and strengthening neighborhoods within coastal communities on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The project asks, “Can we re-think how (and why) we build and live near the water?"

2015 Catalyst Program

G-Pod is a building system, with each individual pod's being capable of functioning autonomously or able to be interlinked with others to form more consolidated structures. G-pods, in both single and multi pod configurations, are readily deployable and can be easily dismantled, restructured, reused and re-located with minimal environmental impact.

2015 Catalyst Program

A revolutionary tool for realising the potential of the bio-economy and supporting local sustainable livelihoods. By combining earth observation techniques, a mobile bioreactor and an ecosystem perspective, stakeholders can understand what local bio-resources are available and how to use them sustainably to their greatest potential.

2015 Catalyst Program

Over 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity and millions more have unreliable supply. Instead they rely on dangerous, polluting and expensive kerosene lamps for light. GravityLight transforms the pull of gravity into electricity. It's a unique solution designed as an affordable, safe and reliable alternative.

Green World Game
2015 Catalyst Program

We are committed to engage a new generation of environmental champions, harnessing children's potential to be the agents of transition to a low-carbon economy. By reconnecting with nature and connecting with each other, we will foster a sense of community where each individual action will make a lasting difference.

2015 Catalyst Program

Organograph is a proposed kinetic public sculpture, which illustrates in a simple manner the mechanisms of climate change. Organograph responds to the critical need for communities around the world to understand the significance of individual action as an important contribution to the solution of this global problem.

2015 Catalyst Program

YLTW is spinning an interconnected global web of change-makers, tackling wicked challenges together, through deep-listening, VIBRANT-GOALS, social-innovation and community-driven-change. YLTW empowers-repowers youth and communities to create deep-change-fast. By training local people, YLTW has scaled ten-fold, minimised costs and carbon footprint. Real-time-live-online facilitator training makes YLTW accessible even to remote communities.

Renewing America's Interstate Highway Corridor
2015 Catalyst Program

The largest infrastructure project in American history - The Interstate Highway - is reinvented to become the backbone of an adaptive reuse strategy for the continent. 1,870,000 acres of mown land within the corridor is retrofitted using perennial crops and market-access to become a resource generator rather than a sink.

Roses in Concrete Community School
2015 Catalyst Program

End urban poverty through education by positioning school as the center of health in a community. Reverse the model of “out-migration" of young talent by making investments in the most vulnerable urban youth and families, creating a return pathway for youth to return home to help make their communities thrive.

Sacred Groves
2015 Catalyst Program

"SacredGroves works to create a true shift in the design and construction of high-density housing projects. Our strategy is to weave forestry, agriculture, community spaces and off-the-grid services (power/water/passive-cooling/bio-gas/eco-sanitation) along-with row housing built using natural & recycled materials. Eco-Housing with dignified community-living, affordable for all, is our dream!"

Social Capital Credits
2015 Catalyst Program

ORGANIZATION NAME: The Asia Initiatives

Soft Systems, High Grounds
2015 Catalyst Program

This project involves a prototypical system of disaster evacuation parks across the Caribbean country of Haiti for more than 5,000 sites of schools and markets as protective and preemptive economic infrastructures for disaster risk reduction and economic recovery against the dangers of hurricanes, severe floods, mudslides, and earthquakes.

The Global Futures Intelligence System
2015 Catalyst Program

A new collective intelligence system for humanity to think together about the future in a holistic, synergistic, systematic, organized on-line platform, that helps manage the knowledge explosion and allows feedback on strategies, priorities, insights, methods, and research on 15 global challenges, focusing on the signals not trivia and info overload.

Towards Water Sustainability
2015 Catalyst Program

We will develop a collaborative modeling and visualization protocol to effectively address water sustainability. We balance precision and comprehension, integrating coupled human-hydrological systems science into practical planning deliberative processes, to help citizens, planners, and scientists jointly make sense of complex water problems and harness their collective creativity to innovate solutions.

Translated Geometries AutoShelter
2015 Catalyst Program

Physical spaces are static and not optimized to their context. Our initiative is a transformable, transportable envelope able to adjust to constantly changing users' needs. Offering an optimized design to environmental conditions it generates a self-sustainable system. Thus, it constitutes a dynamic sheltering solution to evolving heterotopic spaces, like refugee-camps.

Urbinsight: The EcoCitizen World Map Project
2015 Catalyst Program

The Urbinsight project connects communities with web-based mapping tools designed to explore and measure holistic urban health from a citizens' perspective. Based on a bottom-up approach to documenting environmental conditions at the neighborhood scale, the project provides tools, training, and knowledge for creating more sustainable, resilient urban environments.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
2015 Catalyst Program

The strategy is a patented innovation (Patent Registration Nr. US8.282.236B2) for the optimized operation of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) that can be utilized in multiple scales to achieve an Energy-Plus balance in products and buildings, as illustrated in two projects: the Self Sustaining Street Light and Turbine-House

WikiHouse Commons
2015 Catalyst Program

WikiHouse is an open source building system. We are building a digital commons, where all designers, inventors & users collaborate to develop and share high-performance, low-cost, low-energy building solutions that are then owned by everyone. These solutions can be downloaded, locally 'printed' and self-assembled to make sustainable, resilient, affordable homes.

2015 Catalyst Program

Environmental Health Clinic (xCLINIC) designs strategies to diagnose and solve environmental issues as health issues and vice versa. With particular emphasis on low-income urban communities that face high levels of pollution and constrained access to quality nutrition, xCLINIC facilitates accessible, community-driven innovation that improves neighborhood air, water, and nutritional quality.