Every year the Buckminster Fuller Institute hosts a challenge where groundbreaking, problem solving and visionary ideas can be celebrated. This year the Fuller Challenge announced that GreenWave, a nonprofit organization, is the recipient of the award for its magnificent ability to integrate innovation with restoration and for “transforming fishers into restorative ocean farmers and stewards of their local waters”.
In essence, the project showcases how job creation and ocean restoration can come together to transform coastal communities, ecosystems and economies. This elegant solution brings forth a different type of infrastructure, made up of seaweed and mussels growing above oysters and stacked clam cages. The vertical combination creates crops that ocean farmers can use to produce animal feed and sequester CO2, among other positive effects. This restorative project proves that individuals can help solve complex problems by connecting the dots in unprecedented ways. Here we see a cutting-edge yet simple solution, that evidences the power that individuals can have in their communities and across different sectors throughout the world.
What’s amazing about the GreenWave is that it was able to deliver on each one of the Fuller Challenge’s criteria. The solution is a visionary model, that is able to do a lot with very little, while also reinventing the way that humans interact with the ocean economy. It is both feasible and verifiable, and astonishingly comprehensive. GreenWave actually combines a variety innovations as they come together to achieve the elusive triple bottom line. It is ecologically responsible, not just because it helps to restore, but also because it addresses a daunting and unconquerable large scale problem — depletion. GreenWave closes the loop through an “industrial ecology approach”, where the waste of one system is the energy or food of the other. And since it is a very applicable model, we can infer its potential scalability and capacity to be accommodated in many coastal regions. It is evident how comprehensive, feasible, verifiable, applicable and ecologically responsible GreenWave really is, and how it opens up the imagination for other individuals, showing that it is possible to make a difference. For all these reasons, it is clear why this project has received the “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award”.
GreenWave, is able to bring the power of big picture ideas to the foreground, reminding us that saving ourselves as a species has everything to do with saving the oceans we depend on. We get a clear sense from this initiative that solutions need to be practical, smart and holistic. Buckminster Fuller once said “don’t fight forces, use them” and this project works with forces very peacefully. And it shows us a path where new ideas have the power to solve vast issues, that connect us all, within the ‘pale blue dot’.
For more information, donations, and to get involved, please visit GreenWave’s website: http://greenwave.org