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Announcing the 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge The Buckminster Fuller Institute announces the dates of the 2015 Fuller Challenge. Each year, BFI awards a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of an integrated design solution to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. BFI invites the world’s scientists, designers, architects, engineers, planners, artists, students and entrepreneurs to enter their strategies that simultaneously...

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COWED by Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes Join Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes talk about their new book COWED: Once respected creatures, cows have transformed into the source of unhealthy food and pollution. Now, two veteran environmentalists outline this relationship, and what everyone can do to improve both their own lives, and those of the cows among us. Tuesday, March 10, 7:30 pm - Town Hall Seattle

Energy, Industry, and Technology

We will promote policies and actions to harness the entrepreneurial power of business to create competitive industries built on ecological principles and sustainable technologies.

The private sector will play a pivotal role in the transition to a sustainable world. The Bullitt Foundation will combine the agility of small philanthropic grants and the convening value of its reputation to accelerate this process in the Pacific Northwest.  It will promote collaborative problem solving among businesses, non-governmental organizations, governments, and academia.

The Pacific Northwest has produced world leaders in technology, transportation, energy, food services, and consumer goods. Globally recognized companies such as Microsoft, Amazon.com, Costco, Boeing, Starbucks, Paccar, Micron, REI, and Nike also have helped to brand the region for its creativity and livability.

Clean technology now promises to make the region the next locus for industrial innovation in such fields as smart and renewable energy, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Companies will conceive and manufacture products with an unprecedented array of environmental benefits.  Obviously, some may also pose unprecedented environmental hazards. It is important that new products be scrutinized with an eye to the precautionary principle to ensure that unexpected problems don’t cause whole industries to die stillborn.

The Foundation sees a need for a new way of doing business that reforms those traditional practices that undermine sustainability. Prices should reflect all costs. Corporate decision-making can and should consider a view beyond the next quarterly report. Corporate goals should reflect the interests of consumers, employees, neighbors, and the environment—as well as those of shareholders.  Optimizing for multiple bottom lines will produce a healthier, more successful, more sustainable company.

Much of this is new territory for the Bullitt Foundation, and there are few, if any, models in the philanthropic sector for what we are trying to achieve.  But, the Foundation has been in this position before and is willing to lead while learning to work in new ways.

Program Priorities:

  • Secure adoption and implementation of far-sighted regional energy and climate policies.
  • Attain dramatic reductions in industrial energy use through conservation and efficiency.
  • Accelerate and maximize the installation of renewable energy technologies.
  • Instill an ethic of zero waste practices that result in “reduce, reuse, recycle and compost” for all materials.
  • Eliminate to the degree possible the production and use of toxic materials and biologically active pollutants, and seek to contain and safely recycle any essential toxics.
  • Advance the field of “green chemistry” to demonstrate credible and viable alternatives to substances that harm human health and the environment.
  • Promote innovative systems, fuels, and infrastructure for commercial transportation systems.