The Buckminster Fuller Institute
created its annual Challenge
to "solve humanity's most pressing problems in the shortest possible time while enhancing the Earth's ecological integrity." Last year's winner, John Todd
, netted $100,000 for his proposal
to morph 1.5 million acres of strip-mined land in the Appalachian Mountains into a sustainable community that powers a renewable energy market (rather than one devoted to dirty coal). Other honorees from last year's inaugural contest included rural India's Barefoot College
, where impoverished women are taught sustainable methods for improving their lives (solar power, rain water for drinking, etc.), and an effort by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
to train Bedouin women in the desert communities of southern Israel to use biogas for waste management.Winners of the 2009 contest will be announced in May. If you've got a proposal that fits the bill, you need to surf over to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge's site
post haste. You've got until Friday (Nov. 7).