Gallery: Buckminster Fuller Challenge Announces Two 2012 Finalists!


Today, the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) announced two finalists in their 2012 competition –Future of Fish by Cheryl Dahle andThe Living Building Challenge led by Jason McLennan. Future of Fish seeks to preserve the future of the world’s oceans by battling overfishing, loss of diversity, bycatch, and other issues connected with the fishing industry. The The Living Building Challenge is an intensive green building standard that seeks to define the highest possible level of environmental performance. Read on to learn more about these inspiring initiatives, stay tuned as we announce the winner on June 6th, and make sure to check out our video on last year’s Buckminster Fuller Challenge winner!

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is the only large scale annual global prize that recognizes “bold, visionary, tangible initiatives that take a comprehensive, anticipatory, design science approach to radically advance human well being and the health of our planet’s ecosystems”. All entrants are judged based on the feasibility of their initiative, whether their proposal will hold up to rigorous empirical testing, and if their project has the ability to not only sustain, but enhance the environment.

Future of Fish

Today the world’s fish populations are threatened by overfishing, ecosystem degradation, and inept fishery management – these issues are so severe that many popular species of fish could become commercially extinct by the middle of the century. Future of Fish is an initiative that was founded in 2010 by Cheryl Dahle that looks at the ever-increasing challenge of over-harvesting, which is threatening the world’s wild marine fisheries with collapse. The program supports innovators that drive sustainability, efficiency, and traceability in the seafood supply chain. In a statement, Cheryl Dahle said:”I’m honored and delighted to have our work recognized by such a prestigious institution whose legacy embodies the kind of creative, integrated problem solving we aspire to do at Future of Fish.”

The Living Building Challenge

The other finalist, The Living Building Challenge, is a project pioneered by Jason McLennan that strives to set the highest standard of environmental performance in buildings. Projects certified under this standard must meet rigorous requirements for water use, energy consumption, and material use that approach self-sufficiency. In order to achieve Living Building certification, a project must demonstrate that it meets all of the program requirements for a full 12 months of continued operations and full occupancy.

In addition to declaring the final two contenders, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge also announced two ‘honotrable mentions’ – Eco-Fuel Africa Limited and the The Water Retention Landscape of Tamera.

The African project is led by Ugandan entrepreneur Sanga Moses and aims to leverage simple technologies in order to address multiple critical, social, and environmental problems, as well as “boosting rural incomes, combating deforestation, sequestering CO2, reducing indoor air pollution, enhancing the fertility of depleted farming soils, and radically improving overall health and well being of the community.”

The Water Retention project is part of The Tamera Peace Research Centre and aims to combine “a profound spiritual connection to the land with scientific rigor and a high degree of creativity and innovation to shape a landscape and maximize the retention of rainwater and circulate it in such a way that biodiversity, food production, and human wellbeing are all harmoniously enhanced.”

To reach this stage, the contenders have undergone a rigorous review for their adherence to the entry criteria. The Challenge winner will be announced during an event held on Wednesday, June 6th at Cooper Union in New York City.

We wish all the participants the best of luck!

+ Buckminster Fuller Challenge


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