One of the first famous people I ever heard about was Buckminster Fuller - my dad is a fan of his work. So the 2009 Buckminster Fuller Challenge seemed to rate a mention. You can get a sense of the challenge's goals just by reading about the jurors. They include:
ADAM BLY, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Seed magazine and Seed Media Group, winner of the 2006 Independent Press Award for Best Science and Technology Coverage;
JAMAIS CASCIO, Co-founder, Worldchanging.com; Scenario Design Lead for Superstruct, the “massively multiplayer forecasting game;”
EDIE FARWELL, Program Director of the Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows Program of the Sustainability Institute, which aims to apply systems thinking and organizational learning t o economic, environmental and social challenges;
HELENA NORBERG-HODGE, Founder and director, International Society for Ecology and Culture; Co-founder, International Forum on Globalization;
JOHN AND NANCY JACK TODD (serving as a team), John Todd is a celebrated ecological designer and winner of the 2008 Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Nancy Jack Todd is an author and the editor of Annals of Earth.
GREG WATSON, founded the Dudley Street Initiative, served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture, and currently serves as senior advisor to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Two things I like about this challenge: one, you can read about past entries to spark your imagination. View these by visiting the Idea Index. Second, you can watch a movie about the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Entries to the challenge are due by midnight, EDT, on November 7, 2008.