Fuller Challenge receives record number of entries for 10th anniversary


The 2017 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, now in its tenth year, received a record number of entries. To select a winner of the $100,000 grand prize, the jury will review more than 460 submissions.

We are absolutely thrilled to have received a record number of entries to mark the 10th anniversary of the Fuller Challenge! We had hoped this important milestone would inspire many more people and organizations involved in whole-systems design to participate in the program, and we have not been disappointed. Our review team has started the sorting and initial vetting process, and we are humbled by the breadth and depth of vision for real and positive change reflected in this year’s pool,” said Elizabeth Thompson, Founding Director of the Fuller Challenge.

A world-class team of experts, analysts, and the program’s seasoned review team will vet entries in a rigorous process that will proceed over the next six months. The 2017 Fuller Challenge winner will be announced in the fall.

The 2017 entry pool includes integrated, whole-systems strategies from across the disciplinary spectrum tackling many of humanity’s most entrenched issues. The entries include initiatives in farming, architecture, art, communication, conservation, design, economics, education, energy, healthcare, and urban planning, among others.

While the majority of 2017 entrants are new to the Fuller Challenge, 15% of submissions have come from people, groups, and organizations that have participated in prior cycles. The Fuller Challenge welcomes repeat submissions from participants who wish to demonstrate how their work has evolved in relation to the seven criteria by which applications are evaluated. Two prior winners of the $100,000 grand prize were repeat entrants.

Each year, entrants note that the process of engaging with the Challenge criteria provides invaluable insight and a thoughtful educational experience. We are delighted to share some feedback from the 2017 entrant pool:

The application process is rigorous and focused on systemic change, which is very helpful. It is easy in the nonprofit world to get so fixated on tactical decisions that one loses sight of the long-term goal. Your questions about systemic drivers and impacts as well as the one about the preferred state were particularly helpful to sharpen our thinking.


We appreciated the openness and inclusivity of the application process, as well as the criteria of the Fuller Challenge, which allows for small organizations with small budgets to present big ideas for solving global problems.


As a concept at an early stage of development, this application has helped refine and hone necessary concepts as well as helped validate the systems approach and multi-disciplinary strategy inherent in the idea.



The Fuller Challenge submissions reveal work being done around the world, with 102 countries represented, including: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

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