Buckminster Fuller Challenge Selects Semi-Finalists

Speaking of annual contests, big prize money and shortlists, as we were in the post previous, here we are with another. The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, which asks anyone with a good design-based idea to “solve humanity’s most pressing problems” to submit their plans, has picked this year’s semi-finalists. Last year, you might recall, the prize went to biologist Allan Savory, who won for his concept, Operation Hope, which involved using grazing animals to help thin out decaying or damaged grasslands and move seed around. This year’s finalists are just as equally as varied and interesting. Just browsing through the 21 project titles gives you an idea of the variety of topics, from “FrontlineSMS” which helps social organizations “leverage the power and reach of mobile technology to enable positive change” to the “QuaDror Universal Joint,” which introduces “a new space truss geometry” that “presents great structural efficiency and tremendous potential.” Whoever wins will receive $100,000 to put their concept into practice. Judging from the schedule last year, the winner should be announced sometime in early summer. Here’s a slideshow of many of the entries: