Idea Index

For more information about the winners, finalists, and other entrants to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, from 2008 to 2013, please visit Idea Index 1.0. Version 2.0 is on the way!


This innovative materials science company uses local agricultural waste as feedstock to grow fungal mycelia that can be formed into a host of byproducts, from packaging materials to building insulation and car bumpers.

The Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge defines the highest possible level of environmental performance, envisioning a built environment that is fully integrated with its ecosystem.

Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures works with local communities to conserve threatened marine environments. Their integrated conservation programs work with some of the world’s poorest coastal communities to develop conservation and alternative income initiatives to protect biodiversity and coastal livelihoods.

Operation Hope

Operation Hope demonstrates how to reverse desertification of the world’s savannas and grasslands, thereby contributing enormously to mitigating climate change, biomass burning, drought, flood, drying of rivers and underground waters, disappearing wildlife, massive poverty and social breakdown.

Sustainable Urban Mobility

This initiative includes the design of lightweight, highly efficient, electric vehicles, and encompasses the framework in which the technological innovations are integrated into the social and cultural environment by designing an intuitive and functional system.

The Challenge of Appalachia

This project sets forth a revolutionary concept for the design of an entirely new economic model for a region that has been despoiled by extractive industries. Dr. John Todd’s vision is inextricably bound to a set of highly advanced ecological design principles that he developed.

Public Laboratory for Open Science and Technology

Inspired by the disinformation surrounding the 2010 BP oil disaster, Public Lab emerged to help Gulf communities undertake grassroots mapping efforts, using balloons and digital cameras to self-map over 100 miles of coastline.

Échale A Tu Casa

For over 25 years Francesco Piazzesi and his team have developed a truly comprehensive, elegantly integrated model combining community empowerment, local technical capacity building, a novel financing system, and cutting-edge but culturally appropriate “green” building techniques.

Beyond Benign: The Green Chemistry Commitment

John Warner and Amy Cannon have been working assiduously to transform how chemistry is taught and practiced through their non-profit, Beyond Benign, since 1999.

Future of Fish

“If we do not reduce worldwide overfishing, scientists predict the end of commercial fishing by 2050, a catastrophic event for the 200 million employed by the industry and the 1 billion who rely on fish as their primary protein. We help innovate to avoid this fate.”