Archaeology: Buckminster Fuller

The consequences of various world plans …

by DaviD McConville President, Buckminster Fuller Institute

In the 1960s Buckminster Fuller proposed a ‘great logistics game’ and ‘world peace game’ (later shortened to simply, the ‘World Game’) that was intended to be a tool that would facilitate a comprehensive, anticipatory, design-science approach to the problems of the world. The use of ‘world’ in the title referred to Fuller’s global perspective and his contention that a systems approach is necessary to deal with the world as a whole, as opposed to the status quo piecemeal approaches that tackle problems in what he called a ‘local focus hocus pocus’ manner. He envisioned the entire planet as the relevant unit of analysis, not the city, state or nation. For this reason, World Game programming generally used Fuller’s Dymaxion Map for the plotting of resources, trends and scenar- ios essential for playing. We are, in Fuller’s words, on-board Spaceship Earth, and the illogic of 200 nation state admirals all trying to steer the spaceship in different directions is made clear through the metaphor – as well in Fuller’s more caustic assessment of nation states as ‘blood clots’ in the world’s global metabolism.