Archive 2007-2017

The Loowatt System
2013 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: The Loowatt System, a self-contained human waste collection and processing system that, rather than being faced with the typical costs of centralized sewage treatment systems, creatively converts human waste into energy and fertilizer, improving local health conditions, while providing economic opportunity.

The Low Line
2012 Catalyst Program

The Lowline is a plan to use innovative solar technology to illuminate an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. Our vision is a stunning underground park, providing a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction in one of the world’s most dense, exciting urban environments.

The MicroConsignment Model
2011 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Our MicroConsignment Model (MCM) creates first-time access to technologies that transform lives in isolated villages while creating jobs for local women who never had them before. These women become empathetic entrepreneurs in a value chain that is able to diagnose, identify, deliver and evaluate essential solutions for the “last mile.”

The Nubian Vault Programme
2015 Finalist

Aiming to create comprehensive change in human livelihoods while addressing the critical need for housing across the Sahel region of Africa, the Nubian Vault Programme disseminates an ecologically sustainable, time-tested Nubian Vault construction technique.

The Open Water Project
2014 Catalyst Program

SUMMARY: Water quality is a pressing global issue that is implicated in nearly every human system on our planet. The Open Water project aims to develop and curate a set of low-cost, open-source tools that will enable communities everywhere to collect, interpret, and share their water quality data.

The Pollinator Pathway
2016 Catalyst Program

The model by which humanity has designed the ecosystems of the planet has produced global-scale domestication, fragmentation, and extinctions. The Pollinator Pathway imagines and develops a new ecological relationship for the Anthropocene, one where humanity generates a system of connected ecological design for the planet, offsetting domesticated systems.

The Portable Light Project
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Portable Light provides adaptable solar textile kits that enable the world’s poorest people to sew and weave bags, clothing and blankets that harvest energy. Portable Light strengthens local craft cultures to create diverse energy-producing communities with access to mobile networks that are transforming global health care, education and businesses.

The Rainforest Solutions Project
2016 Winner

The decades-long struggle over British Columbia's enormous coastal rainforests culminated in one of the most extraordinary conservation, social justice, and indigenous rights victories in recent memory: a historic 250-year ecosystem management agreement.

The Right to Water
2014 Catalyst Program

SUMMARY: The Blue Planet Project and its founder, Maude Barlow, were instrumental in securing UN recognition of the human right to water and sanitation. We are working with groups around the world to implement this right so that water is safe, affordable, and accessible to everyone, including poor and marginalized communities.

The S.A.T. Project
2010 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Megacities around the world are facing similar syndromes, fragmented urban landscapes, high infrastructure investments, social unrest in dense city cores, rural-urban migrations, among others, while following traditional transportation schemes and applying the latest IT solutions to administrate increasing traffic congestion, while issuing urgent policies to tackle its

The Toothpick Project
2017 Catalyst Program

The Toothpick Project addresses a critical problem: 40 million African smallholder farmers lose from 20-80% of their maize, sorghum, millet, and rice crops to Striga, a parasitic weed. In Kenya, The Toothpick Project has designed and deployed an ecologically-sound solution: a biocontrol technology using a locally-sourced fungus substance embedded onto a toothpick.

The Urban Death Project
2016 Finalist

The Urban Death Project (UDP) has designed a scalable, regenerative death care model based on the natural process of decomposition. In the Recomposition centers that the UDP envisions, bodies and forest waste are composted and transformed into soil.

The Water Bullet
2008 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: While magnetic levitation (MagLev) systems have been well established for human transport, the concept of material transport using similar technology has been under-investigated. Establishing a Small-Diameter Vacuum-Enhanced MagLev (SDVEML) system would allow for virtually limitless transportation of materials, at significantly lower costs.

The Welikia Project
2012 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: Cities want to be sustainable but by and large don’t know how. We seek to map the original, historic ecological landscape of New York City, the place where 8 million people live, and provide the best model of sustainability we can think of: ecosystems in nature.

2017 Catalyst Program

Thread is a method for sustainable development in Eastern Senegal that highlights social organization as the most moral and efficacious of interventions. It is a method reified and situated in a singular building. This architecture links the alleviation of cultural, agricultural, and economic stagnation, while connecting local and global communities.

Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Plan
2014 Finalist

The Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Plan, born of a collective vision, is implementing a comprehensive strategy to build a locally owned and operated housing development in the geographic center of the Oglala Lakota Nation, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Tibet is the High Ground - 3rd Variation
2010 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: The work “Tibet is the High Ground III” proposes an ecologically conceived resolution to the present de-glaciation and subsequent catastrophic outcomes to the 2.5 million square kilometer Tibetan Plateau and the seven major rivers that flow from it through Asia, a bio-cultural approach at the scale of the problem.

Toilets and Taps
2017 Semi-Finalist

An integrated sustainable green solution to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to the rural and urban poor, using technology, backed by capacity building.

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.

Training Bedouin Women
2008 Semi-Finalist

SUMMARY: This proposal, spearheaded by Ms. Ilana Meallem, Mr. Mazen Zoabi and the Center for Women's Health Studies and Promotion at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), is an ideal candidate for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, fulfilling as it does the Challenge criteria.