The Buckminster Fuller Institute have announced their 2014 Challenge Semi-Finalists.

Jay OwenSustainability News, Trendspotting

Newsletter:Our friends at The Buckminster Fuller Institute have announced their 2014Challenge Semi-Finalists. Congratulations to the project teams answeringBucky’s call to “make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortestpossible time without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”Take a look here to see the outstanding projects in the running for the$100,000 grand prize. Buckminster Fuller Institute 2014 Challenge Semi-Finalists announced!Congratulations to the project teams. Check them out here: <>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESEMI-FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2014 FULLER CHALLENGEAugust 27, 2014, New York City – The Buckminster Fuller Institute is pleasedto announce the Semi-Finalists for the 2014 Fuller Challenge. Named“Socially Responsible Design’s Highest Award”, the Fuller Challenge invitesscientists, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists andplanners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions tosome of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded tosupport the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.The twenty proposals now under consideration for the grand prize wereselected out of an entry pool of over 450 proposals and have undergone arigorous review for adherence to the Challenge<>entry criteria. Each project has been through three rounds of vetting by themembers of the Challenge Review Committee including targeted analysis andevaluation by<> aselect group of experts and advisors.The proposals submitted by the Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists showcase anexemplary body of work—each presenting an integrated strategy to address apressing global issue, ranging from sanitation, health, food, and poverty towater systems, conservation, and design.“These projects deserve the attention of the world for their commitment to‘solving for system’ – an approach that takes an unusual degree of insight,patience, tenacity and courage”, said Elizabeth Thompson, BFI’s ExecutiveDirector. “The individuals and teams behind these initiatives have madeextraordinary efforts to define the systemic context underlying the problemthey are seeking to solve, and provide much needed hope and encouragementthat solutions to our most entrenched problems are indeed at hand.”“While only one project will receive the $100,000 cash prize, they alldeserve and need our support. We are thrilled to announce that, in additionto these twenty fantastic initiatives, the benefits of our<>Catalyst Programwill be extended to dozens of additional project leaders andteams. More information about the Catalyst Program and a full list ofprogram participants will be announced soon,”” added Sarah Skenazy, TheFuller Challenge Program Manager. Challenge Finalists will be announced inthe fall and celebrated at a ceremony in New York City in mid-November.The 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalists Include:·<>Algal Turf Scrubbing generates a fast growing, easily harvested, filamentouspolyculture of hundreds of natural, locally adapted algae species over anew, highly efficient 3D screen surface beneath a shallow flow of water tooxygenate and purify water, produce biomass for biofuel and organicfertilizer, mitigate pollution from agricultural run-off, improve freshwaterand coastal habitats, and sequester carbon and reduce fossil fueldependency.·<>AskNature is an immense, web-based interactive database, learning tool, andliving Biomimicry encyclopedia, which seeks to catalog and propagatesolutions to the most pressing human challenges by drawing from time-testedstrategies evolved by nature. AskNature aspires to make biomimetic solutionswidely accessible for educational and industrial applications.·<>Bonobo Peace Forest is growing a network of community-managed and protectedforests in remote, immense swaths of rainforest in the Congo Basin, using a“viral” conservation strategy that partners with local indigenous peoplesand the government to engender sustainable prosperity while preserving thehabitat of our closest genetic relative, the endangered Bonobo.·<>Earth Roofs for the Sahel trains members of impoverished communities inAfrica’s semi-arid Sahel region to build long-lasting, passively cooledearth buildings. The codified, traditional Egyptian Nubian Vault designcreates an affordable, locally sourced, environmentally sustainable builtenvironment; the construction training generates a self-replicating cadre ofskilled masons throughout the region and engenders entrepreneurship. Aself-sustaining, virally expanding market results, transforming the qualityof life and economic capacity of communities.·<>Ecosoftt is an emerging Singapore and India-based social enterprise that isthe first to develop decentralized, adaptable, chemical-free, cost-effectivewater systems that combine rainwater harvesting, wastewater recycling,groundwater replenishment and other technological innovations in Asia. Theirsystems are adaptable to both poor rural and prosperous urban contexts. Theyaim to revolutionize water systems throughout Asia and beyond, bring cleanwater to underserved communities and offer an inspiring model of socialenterprise as an alternative to government or privately run water systems.·<>Finance Innovation Lab is a UK-based non-profit that aims to strategicallyshift the existing financial paradigm to one that values sustainability andresilience. The Lab works on the system from the bottom up by conveninggatherings of innovators, nurturing entrepreneurs, encouraging alternativebusiness models, and seeking to influence economic policies and financialregulation.·<>The Food Commons aims to transform local and regional food systems bycreating larger, more highly organized and coordinated physical, financial,and organizational infrastructures for specific regions and connecting themto the global economy in order to boost and facilitate investments,encourage partnerships and cooperative ownership, and create a genuinelysustainable model of a local and global food economy.·<>The Force Majeure, a bold, large-scale vision of the deeply beloved andrespected, world-renowned artists Helen and Newton Harrison, aims to reducethe entropy of planetary ecosystems in the face of human-induced climatechange. Four sites have been proposed in which the Harrisons and scientistswill experiment with methods to assist nature in its response to massivesystem disturbance.·<>Fuego Del Sol Haiti is a social enterprise that confronts Haiti’s deadlycharcoal addiction through development, introduction and adoption ofinnovative ecological fuel briquettes, presses, stoves, and the training andempowerment of women. Fuego Del Sol, the largest upcycler in Haiti, alsocollects and separates a wide range of waste materials into sustainableproducts and plans to include farming, green building, and land reclamation.·<>Gardens for Health International, an NGO pioneering the integration ofnutrition-based agriculture into the clinical care of malnutrition, partnerswith rural Rwandan health clinics to implement healthcare strategies thatinclude nutritional education and the nurturing of home gardens of nutrientrich foods for each family. They are seeking to expand this programthroughout Rwanda and into Uganda, Burundi, and beyond. This elegant modelcould be replicated globally to address malnutrition.·<>Health Promoter Practitioners seeks to transform conventional healthcare bytraining and empowering community members in the most remote, disrupted andunderserved locales to take prevention and healing into their own hands andvirally spread training in their regions. Disrupting the hegemonic conceptof institutionally recognized healthcare, the organization has built localcapacity, demonstrating that HPP-trained practitioners can treat 80% ofprimary medical cases. HPP is finalizing training manuals of best practicesdeveloped over four decades to disseminate their model.·<>International Bridges to Justice works tirelessly to abolish torture andassure fair judicial processes by strengthening existing legal systemsworldwide. They offer in person and web-based trainings in international andlocal best practices and legal skills for attorneys, judges, and lawenforcement officials, seek to nurture a global legal community that can besupportive and protective of lawyers and officials working in difficultcontexts, and develop training modules in many languages to help propagatesolid human rights-based legal knowledge.·<>International Youth Network for Food Security and Sovereignty trains ruralyouth in Mexico and Central America in a highly participatory process todevelop sustainable food systems in their communities through social,ecological and technological innovation. With a broader goal ofagro-ecological transformation across Central America and beyond, thenetwork seeks to re-imbue communities with traditional ecological valueswhile drawing from modern best practices. Trained and empowered youthleaders are the ideal vectors to propagate genuine sustainability.·<>Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic seeks to address the logisticalproblems of providing healthcare to communities in the highly underserved,infrastructure-poor Lake Tanganyika Basin region by building and deploying afloating medical and research facility. Through the growth of a radionetwork, collaboration with local partners, healthcare training, ecologicaleducation and more, the clinic will serve as a mobile hub of communicationand cooperation between remote, vulnerable communities in one of the earth’srichest freshwater ecosystems.·<>Living Breakwaters is a comprehensive design for coastal resiliency alongthe Northeastern Seaboard of the United States and beyond. This approach toclimate change adaptation and flood mitigation includes the deployment ofinnovative, layered ecologically-engineered concrete underwater breakwaters,the strengthening of biodiversity and coastal habitats, the nurturing andresuscitation of fisheries, and deep community engagement through diversepartnerships and innovative educational programs.·<>Makoko/Iwaya Waterfront Restoration Plan, a comprehensive, detailedregeneration plan for the Makoko/Iwaya community in Lagos, Nigeria, whichwas threatened with being razed, seeks to preserve local culture and socialrelationships, revitalize the built environment, increase economicopportunities, and ensure disaster resilience for over 40,000 residents. Itsimplementation revolves around community inclusion and local leadership andthe empowering of women and youth. The plan holds the preservation oftraditional lagoon-front culture as a core value, presenting a compellingvision of a floating economy based on sustainable aquaculture and tourism.·<>Multifunctional Membrane: Self-Active Building Cells, Not Building Blocksare the centerpieces of a technology that could potentially provideinexpensive, biodegradable, living, breathing “skins” for buildings thatwould auto-regulate in response to heat, light and humidity and provideclimate control, ventilation and lighting without mechanical systems,thereby radically reducing energy use and costs, especially in tropicalregions under critical environmental and socio-economic stresses.·<>Sistema Biobolsa provides farmers in Mexico, Central America and Haiti withan on-site waste-to-nutrient ecosystem: a biomimetic, modular advancedgeo-membrane anaerobic biodigester that converts organic waste into biogasand fertilizer, increasing local capacity and resiliency and boosting healthand livelihoods as it provides safe, non-toxic thermal, mechanical, andelectrical generation not previously affordable to small farmers.Distributed through innovative micro-financing mechanisms andentrepreneurial capacity building, this project has great potential to boostsustainable farming globally.·<>Slow Money catalyzes the flow of investment capital into local foodeconomies and place-based enterprises in North America and Europe, seekingto “bring money back down to earth” through communications, education,convenings, investment clubs, liaison services, and shared learningnetworks. This integrated effort to restore fiduciary responsibility andnurture sustainable enterprises aims for a systemic transformation of foodsystems and local economies.·<>Thunder Valley Regenerative Community Plan, born of a collective vision, hascreated a comprehensive plan to build a locally owned and operateddevelopment in the geographic center of the Oglala Lakota Nation, on thePine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, one of the poorest and mostdisenfranchised parts of the country. The goal is to resuscitate the localeconomy and traditional culture and provide attractive, culturallyappropriate affordable housing in the context of a deeply sustainablecommunity with a net-zero built environment that could serve as acompelling, dynamic model for the rest of Indian country and the world.For futher information please contact: <mailto:[email protected][email protected]