AskNature Selected as Semi-Finalist for the 2014 Fuller Challenge

Press Release — August 27, 2014


(New York – August 27, 2014)  The biomimicry design website AskNature has been announced as a 2014 Semi-Finalist in the Fuller Challenge, a prestigious annual competition named “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.” Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

AskNature, a core initiative of the Biomimicry Institute, is an online tool that offers the world’s most comprehensive catalog of nature’s solutions to human challenges. Biomimicry, the study and imitation of nature’s designs and processes, has inspired products such as concrete that sequesters carbon like coral and glass that reduces bird collisions by imitating spider webs.

“A knowledge divide exists for millions of non-biologically trained innovators for whom nature’s strategies would be a deep source of design inspiration. AskNature helps to bridge this gap,” said Ethan Smith, AskNature Project Director. “The Fuller Challenge would help us expand AskNature’s sustainability design tools so that people around the world have access to knowledge and resources that could literally change the way we innovate.”

Twenty Semi-Finalist proposals, including the Biomimicry Institute’s AskNature proposal, have been selected out of an entry pool of over 450 applications and have undergone a rigorous review for adherence to the seven-point Challenge criteria: Visionary, Comprehensive, Ecologically Responsible, Feasible, Verifiable, and Replicable. AskNature’s application went through three rounds of vetting by the members of the Challenge Review Committee, including analysis and evaluation by an interdisciplinary team of experts and advisors.

“Each of 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, The Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Executive Director. “The teams behind these initiatives have made extraordinary efforts to define the systemic context underlying the problem they are seeking to solve, and have designed strategies that provide enduring and sustainable solutions. Each is a remarkable example of the transformative power of individual initiative and provide much needed hope and encouragement that solutions to our most entrenched problems are indeed at hand.”

The finalists will be announced in the fall and celebrated at an event in New York City in mid-November.

About the Biomimicry Institute: The Biomimicry Institute is a non-profit organization committed to making the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing. Founded in 2006 by global thought leader Janine Benyus, the Institute promotes biomimicry as a design framework for solving the 21st century’s most pressing human and environmental challenges.

We believe that the widespread adoption of nature-inspired solutions will catalyze a new era in design and business that benefits both people and the planet. Let’s make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing. We hope you will join us.

Unless otherwise noted, images are either owned by Biomimicry Institute or are courtesy of Shutterstock.

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