Dr. John Todd Wins Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award

John Todd's Winning Design Image

Image source: Buckminster Fuller Institute

We've profiled natural-resources design maven Dr. John Todd before, but now he's been recognized by a much higher authority for his pioneering work. Dr. Todd is the first recipient of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award. Not to mention, the award comes with prestige, but also a $100,000 cash prize to sweeten the deal, as well as an OmniOculi sculpture artist Tom Shannon, which was commissioned for the event.

So what was the topic of study that earned such as serious prize? Well, Dr. Todd's work on Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia. Appalachia has been decimated by strip-mining for coal (which provides 50% of the electricity in the United States), but Dr. Todd provides an alternative solution to boost the economy of the region without relying on coal mining, which involves healing the land and the communities.How do you redesign a community? Well, it involves four stages: Healing; Carbon Sequestration and the Creation of a Working Landscape; Creating a Renewable Energy Future; and Institutions and a Shared Ownership Culture. You can find more specifics on the winning proposal in the Idea Index. Winners of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award are chosen because of their ability to think outside the box, come up with a solution that makes old systems obsolete, and improves both human well-being and ecosystem health. The two runners-up to the Challenge this year were The Barefoot College by Bunker Roy and Promoting Biogas & Training Bedouin Women by Kevin Leopold.

You may remember Dr. Todd from previous Treehugger articles on his work developing and installing wastewater treatment systems in the developing world. Dr. Todd is also the inventor of the Eco-Machine, received three merit awards from the US Environmental Protection Agency and was named one of the greatest inventors of the 20th Century.

Dr. John Todd runs John Todd Ecological Design, Inc., which uses nature to design solutions to wastewater and storm water treatment issues.

To find out information on the 2009 Challenge, send an email to the Buckminster Fuller Institute and include the word "subscribe" in the subject line. You can also search on BPI for entries to the Challenge, known as the Idea Index. Over 159 entrants opted to be included in the Index - hey, maybe one of these will spark the next great idea for solving climate change!

Thanks Tipster, Matt Kelly.

More on Dr. John Todd
The TH Interview: Dr. John Todd
Vermont Rest Stop Features A "Living Machine"
TH Event: Greening Rooftops For Healthy Cities
The Learning Barge
More on The Buckminster Fuller Institute
DIY: Tensegrity Tables
Another One Bites The Dust: Bucky Fuller's Union Tank Car Dome
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge
Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller

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