The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design challenge to find, develop, and implement an idea or strategy that "has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems." Last Friday Blue Ventures was announced the winner of the 2011 Challenge. Blue Ventures works with some of the world's poorest coastal communities to help conserve threatened marine environments, protect biodiversity and coastal livelihoods. See a video of their work below:
Buckminster Fuller's prolific life of exploration, discovery, invention and teaching was driven by his intention "to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone."
Fuller coupled this intention with a pioneering approach aimed at solving complex problems. This approach, which he called "comprehensive anticipatory design science", combined an emphasis on individual initiative and integrity with whole systems thinking, scientific rigor and faithful reliance on nature's underlying principles. The designs he is best known for (the geodesic dome, the Dymaxion house, car, and map, and the global electric grid) were part of a visionary strategy to redesign the inter-related systems of shelter, transportation and energy.
After decades of tracking world resources, innovations in science and technology, and human needs, Fuller asserted that options exist to successfully surmount the crises of unprecedented scope and complexity facing all humanity – he issued an urgent call for a design science revolution to make the world work for all. Answering this call is what the Buckminster Fuller Challenge is all about.