Image by Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Buckminster Fuller Institute has announced a call for proposals to the 2014 «Fuller Challenge», which, due to its rigorous selection process, is known as socially responsible design’s highest award. The Challenge invites activists, architects, artists, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and students from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems.

Stories Editorial March 11, 2014

The inventor Buckminster Fuller called for a creative revolution to «make the world work for all of the humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone.» The «Fuller Challenge» is about answering this principal. 

Winning the «Fuller Challenge» requires more than a stand–alone idea or innovation that focuses on one aspect of a system failure. BFI is looking for holistic strategies that demonstrate a clear grasp of the big–picture dynamics influencing the potential intervention. If a proposal emphasises a new design, material, process, service, tool or technology, it is essential that it is a part of an integrated strategy that deals effectively with key social, environmental and economic factors. BFI seeks initiatives that tackle urgent needs and entries must meet the following criteria:


Put forth an original idea or synthesize existing ideas into a new strategy that creatively addresses a critical need.


Apply a «whole–systems» approach to the design and implementation process; aim to address multiple goals, requirements and conditions in a holistic way.


Factor in critical future trends and needs as well as the projected impacts of implementation in the short and long term.

Ecologically Responsible

Reflect nature’s underlying principles while enhancing the ability for natural systems to regenerate.


Rely on current technology, existing resources and a solid team capable of implementing the project.


The project should be able to withstand rigorous testing and make authentic claims.


The project should be able to be adapted to similar conditions elsewhere.


Project proposals must be submitted until April 11, 2014, at 17.00 EST. A 100 000 USD prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy. BFI offers further support for finalists and semi–finalists through relationships with sponsors, partners and networks, additional funding, legal services, international press coverage, business incubation, mentorship opportunities and special invitations to present the projects at conferences and exhibitions. More information on the project, criteria and requirements is available on the BFI webpage.