06 April 2011

nef’s New Economic Model selected as a Semi-Finalist for the 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

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Reposted in full from the
new economics foundation, 24 March 2011

'The New Economic Model led by James Meadway and Tim Jenkins at leading independent think-tank nef (the new economics foundation) has been named a 2011 Semi-Finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, the prestigious annual design science competition named "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award" by Metropolis Magazine. The Challenge awards $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a whole systems-based solution that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

nef will build a comprehensive new macro-economic model for the UK predicated on respect for planetary boundaries and global equity of resource use. Principally designed to catalyse the transition to a low carbon, high well-being future economy, the model will be developed through rigorous economic analysis over three years.

“We’re obviously delighted to be named a semi-finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge,” said James Meadway, senior economist at nef and project lead on the New Economic Model. “Our project for a New Economic Model is a perfect synergy with Buckminster Fuller’s own approach to change. As he said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.””

“As the world faces the challenges of climate change and energy depletion to rising inequality and financial instability, the need for a new economic model has never been greater. At nef, we believe that only systemic change will bring about a future of well-being, prosperity and ecological balance. The prize money from BFC will go a long way towards funding both the theoretical work on economic modeling and our public engagement strategy to chart the course for a better future.”

After an initial rigorous vetting process by BFI’s multi-disciplinary review team, which included an in-depth interview, the New Economic Model was chosen from a pool of hundreds of entries from over 35 countries, to be one of 21 Semi-Finalists this year. It will now be featured as a top tier project in BFI’s Idea Index and featured on their website for the remainder of the program cycle.

Semi-finalists will be reviewed and discussed by the 11 distinguished jurors, which includes Valerie Casey, founder of Design Accord; David Orr, writer and professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College; Andrew Zolli, producer of PopTech and Danielle Nierenberg, Project Director of State of World 2011; and Sim Vanderyn, visionary ecological design pioneer.

Finalists will be announced May and the winner, runner up, and honorable mention will be announced at the conferring ceremony in New York in early June.

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is the premier international competition recognizing initiatives which take a comprehensive, anticipatory, design approach to radically advance human well being and the health of our planet’s ecosystems. The 2011 Semi-finalists are providing workable solutions to some of the world’s most significant challenges including water scarcity, food supply, health, energy consumption and shelter. The Challenge is a program of The Buckminster Fuller Institute which aims to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity.'

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