Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia
submitted by Dr. John Todd
The Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World project sets forth a revolutionary concept for the design of an entirely new economic model for a region that has been despoiled by extractive industries. Dr. Todd’s vision is inextricably bound to a set of highly advanced ecological design principles that he developed. Appropriately, they reflect not only deep understanding of biological systems, but also the best creative intelligence and cultural wisdom spanning the centuries. These principles are the fruit of Dr. Todd’s decades-long practice developing technologies around the world that build healthy symbiotic relationships between nature’s living systems and modern human needs.
The project’s methodology fully recognizes that transformation requires re-conceiving virtually every aspect of how we go about valuing and meeting our life support needs. Accordingly, Todd’s design strategy takes on regionally specific interactions within and between the biosphere, the economy, the local community, the concept of ’right livelihood’, the development of new technology, and education. Its overarching goal is to model a post-industrial economy that mirrors the diverse abundance, cyclic patterns and structural resilience of nature.
Read the full statement from the Buckminster Fuller Institute [pdf]
Dr. John Todd’s Comprehensive Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia, in the opinion of this jury, best embodies the bold, visionary approach to large-scale societal transformation pioneered by Buckminster Fuller. Dr. Todd’s proposal sets forth a profound vision to heal the environmental and economic scars of the Appalachian region and a detailed strategy to build a dynamic sustainable economic basis for lasting renewal. A comprehensive design strategy, the Carbon Neutral World will use biological processes to restore degraded coal lands in Appalachia, and to use the process to return atmospheric carbon to the soil.
Dr. Todd’s vision sets forth a new theory of ecological design weaving together a set of processes - from restoration of land to geo-sequestration of carbon, to community involvement, to long-term economic vitality - to create a blueprint for a future in Appalachia that envisions a harmonious self-sustaining community. This is one of the only true whole systems projects that is place-based but widely applicable.
Todd’s design starts with a carbon-neutral goal - reflecting Fuller’s idea of the preferred state. Although trialed in Appalachia, the program is not just a U.S. solution. There are devastated coal lands throughout the world and no one has yet determined what to do with them. Todd’s vision could provide some answers and a roadmap to get there. It will have huge uptake globally.
Read the full jury statement [pdf]