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Net-Works a semi-finalist in ‘socially responsible design’s highest award.’

UPDATE: Since this blog was published, Net-Works has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, along with 5 other innovative initiatives. We’re delighted to still be in the running for this prestigious award and are keeping our fingers crossed for November, when the winner will be announced. Details on all of the finalists can be found here

We were thrilled to hear last week that Net-Works has been shortlisted as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Challenge, widely regarded as ‘socially-responsible design’s highest award’. Now in its tenth year, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge recognises exceptional examples of ‘whole systems’ design that address critical problems across domains like climate change, education, economic development, human health, and environmental and social justice.

Net-Works is one of seventeen semi-finalists spanning four different ‘problem space’ categories: energy and the built environment; education and community development; human health and sanitation; and agriculture and rural development. We are included in the ‘education and community development’ category in light of the fact that our initiative interweaves community empowerment, environmental protection, and closed-loop economic production.

Among the other amazing semi-finalists on the list are:

Liter of Light, which trains cooperatives of women to create micro-solar panels and solar battery kits that can provide energy to lanterns, mobile chargers, and streetlights helping to bring solar lighting to the more than 1 billion people who suffer from energy poverty.

Sistema Biobolsa, which enables small farms, rural communities, and urban settlements to convert organic waste into renewable energy and organic fertilizer.

LaborVoices, a technology platform that allows workers in the global apparel sector to report risks to their working conditions free of charge and anonymously, through their phones.

Announcing the list, Elizabeth Thompson, Buckminster Fuller Challenge Founding Director said: “These semi-finalists were drawn from a truly exceptional pool of initiatives. We were very gratified – having been at this for ten years now – to see that the quality of the visions, the calibre of the teams, and the commitment to solving complex issues demonstrated in the entry pool were at an all-time high.

Finalists are due to be announced in September and the winner will be announced in October, with the grand prize presented at a ceremony in New York City in November.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Net-Works will go all the way, but we’re honored even to have got this far and to stand alongside 16 other inspiring initiatives. We don’t envy the judges task of choosing a winner!

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