Rising to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge

As one of 124 ideas submitted to the 2011 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, FrontlineSMS was recently added to their online Idea Index. Described as a “repository of whole systems solutions to the world's most pressing problems,” we think FrontlineSMS is in very good company. We encourage you to check out our application, explore other ideas in the index, and join the online community to interact with others who are interested in socially responsible approaches to the world’s most pressing problems.

Participating in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge gives us the opportunity to emphasize the spirit of “comprehensive anticipatory design science” that infuses our work and that Buckminster Fuller himself advocated. It was his intention “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone.”

FrontlineSMS is a mass messaging platform and more. We see our software as part of a strategy that organizations around the world can adopt to leverage mobile technology for the greater good. We are focused on reaching the “last mile” by designing our software to work without the internet and with phones already in the hands of billions of people throughout the developing world. We continue to develop and improve a simple, user-friendly, plug-and-go system that can be used to exchange ideas, share information and inspire cooperative action anywhere there is a mobile signal.

African user - empowered!

We also sustain a thriving ecosystem of users, partners and supporters that work together to maximize the impact of our work. While the core platform is use-agnostic, we are committed to incubating sector specific solutions that work with FrontlineSMS to confront challenges of access to healthcare, education, financial credit, and legal representation, and to create more participatory media.

Named "Socially-Responsible Design's Highest Award" by Metropolis Magazine, we are thrilled to be a part of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge review process. Of course we’d love to win the $100,000 prize, but in this case, we think it’s an honor just to compete.

To find out more about the Buckminster Fuller Challenge visit their website: http://challenge.bfi.org/