The Reversing Climate Change podcast with Nori
A podcast about the different people, technologies, and organizations that are coming together to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse climate change. We also talk about blockchains.

#19 Amanda Ravenhill, Executive Director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute

April 10, 2018


You say you want a revolution… How about a ‘design science revolution’? Coined by R. Buckminster Fuller, the idea advocates for an alternative to politics that makes war obsolete, optimizes planetary resources for the benefit of all, and uses nature’s existing order to guide human design.  

Amanda Ravenhill is the Executive Director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, an organization dedicated to building on the legacy of systems visionary, inventor, and architect R. Buckminster Fuller to solve complex global problems through design thinking education. Prior to her work with the institute, Amanda taught Principles of Sustainable Management at Presidio Graduate School, served as business Partnership Coordinator at, and held the role of Executive Director of Project Drawdown. Amanda is an advisor to the Center for Carbon Removal and a member of the Nexus Global Climate Change Working Group steering committee. 

Today, Amanda sits down with Ross and Christophe to share the vision of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and its namesake’s legacy as an early environmentalist, humanitarian, and techno-optimist with a global vision of the future. They discuss how Nori fits into that vision as part of the ‘design science revolution’ and how the transparency of the blockchain aligns with Fuller’s ideas. Amanda offers insight into the origin of the Drawdown Project, describing the details of how solutions like the education of women and girls have cascading benefits that include reversing climate change. Listen in for Amanda’s advice around approaching problems with design thinking and learn about the groundbreaking work of Regenesis Group.


Buckminster Fuller Institute

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming edited by Paul Hawken

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by R. Buckminster Fuller

Grunch of Giants by R. Buckminster Fuller

Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking by R. Buckminster Fuller

Synergetics 2: Further Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking by R. Buckminster Fuller

Inventory of World Resources, Human Trends and Needs

Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach

Burning Man


Regenesis Group

The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes by Carol Sanford

Savory Institute

Allan Savory TED Talk

GreenWave Ocean Farming

Key Takeaways

[3:00] Amanda’s WHY in working with Buckminster Fuller

  • Ensure climate change used as positive catalyst to transform the world

[4:54] The fundamentals of biochar

  • Collect residue, starve of oxygen to produce energy
  • Supercharges land, fertilizer not necessary
  • Addresses several problems with one solution

[7:19] The aim of the Buckminster Fuller Institute

  • Make world work for 100% of humanity in shortest possible time
  • Spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense, disadvantage to anyone

[10:28] Fuller’s concept of dymaxion

  • Blending of dynamic, maximum and tension
  • Do more with less

[13:42] The role Nori plays in Fuller’s vision

  • Carbon balancing integral part of ‘design science revolution’
  • War obsolete with enough to go around

[18:47] How the blockchain fits with Fuller’s vision

  • Grunch of Giants addresses dangers of centralization
  • Decentralized system combats oppression

[21:52] The idea of Burning Man

  • Experiment in community based in gifting economy
  • You AND me vs. you OR me, plus radical self-reliance

[27:06] How the education of women and girls impacts climate change

  • Every year over primary education = 10-20% more in wages
  • Family planning has cascading benefits beyond population

[30:34] Amanda’s advice around approaching problems with design thinking

  • Explore work of Regenesis Group
  • Operate, maintain, sustain and regenerate

[33:15] How winners of the Fuller Challenge are selected

[36:04] The significance of ‘Team Trillion Tons’

  • Reduction from 410 ppm to 280 ppm requires removal of 1T tonnes of CO2
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