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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Reef Life Restoration in TOP 17% of Global Sustainability System Entrants

The Buckminster Fuller Institute to Reef Life Restoration Foundation 28th July 2017

10th year of Fuller Challenge brings 460+ Entrants from 102 Countries

Press Release – “The Challenge Review Committee agreed that your proposal stood out as making an important contribution to the growing field of whole systems design, and we are therefore thrilled to invite Reef Life into our Catalyst Program. An offer of inclusion in this program is extended to only the top 17% of Challenge applicants that went through two rounds of intense vetting by our Review Committee this year. In a pool of over 460 submittals from over 100 countries, this is a very significant achievement. Congratulations!”

Buckminster Fuller Catalyst Program benefits are listed below and can also be viewed on our website: Catalyst Program benefits:

  • As a Catalyst Program member, your work is automatically being considered by the following partner programs: dMASS Innovations for Sustainability; the Katerva Awards; Technology Exchange Lab; the Unreasonable Institute; and Echoing Green Fellowship Programs. Additional opportunities to present work at events organized by BFI. In the past, this has included Greenbuild, Architecting the Future symposia, Black Mountain College International Conference, Cooper Union and the Institute of Sustainable Design lectures, and other international symposia on Buckminster Fuller, sustainable culture events, design conferences and social entrepreneurship gatherings.

All major press coverage of your Reef Life project in the context of the Fuller Challenge will be shared through our social media channels. Inquiries from the press about your project will be forwarded to you directly. Please feel free to write to with news of your work.

Thank you for sharing your work with us, and your inspiring commitment to answering Buckminster Fuller’s Challenge to: “make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”

With deep appreciation, The Buckminster Fuller Challenge Program Team

“Reef Life Restoration is proud to announce the first placements of this new oceanic nano material matrix in projects around the world,” according to Melody Brenna. With this revolutionary technology, man can now make amends for the unrelenting destruction he has caused to our planet’s most important ecosystem … our oceans. “In a few months, this technology will be reversing decline and growing new corals and new aquacultures so that fishing, underwater exploration and even underwater mining can be minimalized or even completely countered,” Ms. Brenna states. ”Our goal is to provide this world-changing technology to public, private, and other organizations to assist them in countering the destruction of one of the earth’s most precious resources.” Ms. Brenna goes on to state that there is expected to be over $1 Trillion dollars spent in the next decade to improve aquaculture around the world. The new Patent with 59 Claims is based upon 10 nano admixtures which create hundreds, if not thousands of growth and strength compounds for oceanic infrastructure.

Melody Saunders Brenna and Dr. Konstantin Sobolev have been pioneers in producing new types of advanced cement and masonry matrices for commercial applications for over three decades. Dr. Sobolev is an internationally recognized expert in nano-particle energy and technology as it applies to mixtures and infrastructure scale applications.

The Reef Life Buckminster Fuller Challenge Submission highlights two of our youngest designers of Oceanic Innovation Systems, my son Guyon Brenna, who has been creating oceanic infrastructure since age 16 and Andy Kuhlken, 15 who began designing Mooring Stations to prevent boat anchors from damaging delicate reefs and seagrass, which fish depend upon to prosper. Andy in front, Guyon in Hawaii at the IUCN Conference Where Reef Life Presented with Global Ocean Leaders.

Reef Life MOORING Stations:

The mooring stations, acreage reefs using Kinematic Theory for deployment, clip on aquaculture farms for defunct oil rigs and oceanic wind turbines are what caught the attention of the Buckminster Fuller Judges.


The Fuller Challenge has defined an emerging field of practice – the whole-systems approach to understanding and solving the interrelated crises facing us. The entry criteria have established a new framework through which to identify and measure effective, enduring solutions to the world’s most entrenched challenges. This year BFI reaches a major milestone as we mark the 10th anniversary of this unique prize. Want to learn more? Read our 2017 Call for Proposals.

Outside of the $100,000 grand prize awarded to the Fuller Challenge Winner each year, there are a number of benefits and opportunities associated with entering “socially responsible design’s highest award”. These include additional support and funding opportunities through our Catalyst Program as well as media coverage.

Initiatives representing all disciplines will be considered including architecture, urban planning, agriculture, engineering, ecology, food systems, health, sanitation, socially responsible business, energy technology, communications, education, economics, finance, information technology, and more.Winning the Fuller Challenge requires more than a stand-alone idea or innovation. BFI looks for visionary, trans-disciplinary solutions that take a whole-systems approach to problem solving.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have received a record number of entries to mark the 10th anniversary of the Fuller Challenge! We had hoped this important milestone would inspire many more people and organizations involved in whole-systems design to participate in the program, and we have not been disappointed. Our review team has started the sorting and initial vetting process, and we are humbled by the breadth and depth of vision for real and positive change reflected in this year’s pool,” said Elizabeth Thompson, Founding Director of the Fuller Challenge.

The Rainforest Solutions Project protecting Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest won the 2016 BFI Challenge. Photo by Andrew Wright.

The challenge is open to initiatives of all sorts, including nonprofit, for-profit, and individual endeavors. Entrants must show that their design is at once:

  • Visionary
  • Comprehensive
  • Anticipatory
  • Ecologically responsible
  • Replicable
  • Feasible
  • Verifiable

Buckminster Fuller Challenge founding director Elizabeth Thompson and program manager Megan Ahearn to answer some common questions about the Challenge. Here’s the behind-the-scenes truth about the review process.

What do you look for in a project, besides the seven official criteria we listed above?

Elizabeth Thompson: The projects need to present a truly integrated strategy, and by that we mean that the team has considered the interrelated domains of impact affecting the outcome of the solution. So, for example, a successful coastal restoration initiative upon which future human populations depend to survive would necessitate a vision that includes education, alternative economic development, alternative food production, potential policy change, etc.

How can an application stand out among hundreds of entries from around the world?

ET: We look for evidence of a very well thought-out vision that is deeply attuned to the complexities of the problem being addressed, coupled with a team that clearly is capable of carrying out that vision. This is a very difficult hurdle and those that cross it are few and far between! Fuller Challenge entrants address unique problems across a wide variety of disciplines, so our review team looks at a diversity of problem spaces and approaches. The standout entries are those that address problems in a way that is visionary but also realistic and achievable; comprehensive but also effective in tackling specific problems. Judges: A world-class team of experts, analysts, and the program’s seasoned review team vet entries in a rigorous process that proceeds over six months from your entry in March till late July. for Reef Life Funding for Innovators in Catalyst.

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