Vol. 18 No. 11, November 2017


Vol. 18 No. 11, November 2017

Trimtab Vol. 18 No. 11

BFI Updates

Re-cap of the 2017 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Ceremony and Symposium

In this issue of Trimtab, we focus on the 10th year celebration of the Fuller Challenge award. The 2017 conferring ceremony and a symposium to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge (BFC) was a very inspiring and successful capstone to the first phase of this renowned program. The new design research lab a/d/o hosted the events at their beautiful venue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. On the evening of Friday, November 10th, Trupti Jain and Biplabketan Paul, Co-Founders of the Sustainable Green Initiative Forum, received the 2017 grand prize of $100,000 and the OmniOculi sculpture for their work with Bhungroo. Two runners-up were each honored with an OmniOculi sculpture. Matthew Barron, program officer for the Heinz Family Fund and first BFC program manager, presented the sculpture to Lucilla and Jonathan Marvel, who represented Martín Peña Community Land Trust as members of the board. Alexander Eaton, CEO of Sistema Biobolsa, also accepted a runner-up prize. Read more about the event here.

Reflections from Allegra Fuller Snyder on The Fuller Challenge Symposium

Allegra Fuller Snyder, Buckminster Fuller’s daughter, reflects on the Fuller Challenge Symposium: “It awakened the hearts and minds of all who were attending, which excitingly included a very significant portion of young people.Read Allegra’s full reflection here.

Reflections from Edie Farwell on The Fuller Challenge Symposium

Edie Farwell, Executive Director of the Sustainability Leaders Network, reflects 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.Read more here.

Reflections from Greg Watson on The Fuller Challenge Symposium

Greg Watson, a student of Buckminster Fuller, reflects on the Fuller Challenge Symposium: “Against the backdrop of our nation, and indeed the world in disarray, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 10th Anniversary Awards Celebration was an oasis of hope. Even after more than forty years of working and playing in the dynamic space defined by design science, I wasn’t taking any of what was unfolding for granted. In fact, this was a very special weekend – a watershed in the march along the critical path that is the design science revolution.Read more here.

Greg Watson’s Opening Remarks from The Fuller Challenge Symposium

Greg Watson’s opening remarks for the Fuller Challenge Symposium guided the audience through current examples of what Fuller called the “Design Science Revolution.” He cited projects and ideas that reinforce Fuller’s “doing more with less” philosophy, his awareness of the 50-year gestation period for building innovation, and the world-energy network grid. Read Greg’s opening remarks here.


Kiss the Ground, the Book

Kiss the Ground, a soil advocacy group, has published its book of the same title. It features stories of carbon-capturing soil, many well-crafted graphics about regenerative agriculture and approachable science. You can learn about many whole systems approaches and models like the small water cycle and perennial grasses. Order your copy here.

My Molecularium

A fun, and free, new molecule building app, My Molecularium, was just released by Kurt Przybilla and a team of scientists, artists, and developers. Kurt is a long-time advisor of BFI and creator of Tetratoys, the multi-axis spinning tops inspired by Fuller’s Synergetics. My Molecularium is a fun game that allows players to learn about molecules by building them with laser-guided gyroscopic motions. Click here to learn more.

Start-Up Energy Transition Award 2018

Start Up Energy Transition Award 2018 was launched in Bonn Germany at the COP23 UN Climate Conference. The award identifies global start-ups working on energy transition. Application are due on January 31st. “Start Up Energy Transition is a global initiative for visionaries and vanguards fighting climate change. We know there are many initiatives and great ideas out there. By creating a platform with a clear focus on scaling up innovation, our mission is to strengthen the existing ecosystem surrounding innovations in the field of sustainable energy solutions.” Read more here.

Upcoming Events

Next Nature Academy

Next Nature is offering 1 and 3 day courses in Amsterdam in January to explore looking at ‘nature’ and ‘technology’ in a new way. “Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities and wild robots; we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. It may sound abstract, but it’s closer than you think; cars will drive themselves and heart valves are 3D printed. How to dream, build and live in this next nature? And how to anticipate all this in your work?” More information can be found here.

Cleantech Forum San Francisco

The 16th annual Cleantech Forum will take place January 22-24th in San Francisco with the goal to chart the future and connect the globe. The event will bring together “corporate executives, start-up and growth company CEOs, investors, government agencies, and other players – from across all areas of resource innovation, from the major industrial verticals, and from across the globe.” Find out more here.

StartingBloc 2018 Dates

StartingBloc, a leadership fellowship, has announced the dates for their four Institutes in 2018 - Los Angeles, CA (February 22-26), New Orleans (May 17-21), Raleigh (June 21-25), and New York (August 16-20). StartingBloc trains and supports leaders “who are committed to something bigger than themselves (art, systems change, equity, financial transparency, food supply, etc.)”. Learn more and apply here.

From The Idea Index

Kate Orff Wins MacArthur Fellowship

There are few fellowships more desirable than the MacArthur Foundation’s awards in which fellows receive a $625,000 grant dispensed over five years, which acts as seed money for the individual to enact maximum impact in the world in whatever manner they see fit. Kate Orff, 2017 MacArthur Fellow, 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge award winner, landscape architect, and founding principal of SCAPE design firm, was one of six other architects to win the award. Fun fact: half of those Fellows, like Kate, are women.

From the Store

New Dymaxion Map T-shirt

'Tis the season to show your loved ones you care about them and the future of Spaceship Earth by giving them a limited-run Dymaxion Map T-shirt. The Dymaxion Map, also known as the Fuller Projection, depicts the Earth as one island and one ocean. Unlike the familiar Mercator Projection, the Fuller Projection minimizes visual distortion of the relative shapes and sizes of the land areas without splitting the continents. Consider supporting our work by buying T-shirts today! All proceeds go directly to BFI's programming.

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