What is the appropriate response to the crises of our times?

Hunger, Climate Change, Racism, Environmental Destruction, Soil Degradation. Should we work harder and faster to stop the problems, standing firmly in our worldview of what is good and right? Or is it time for a different approach– a shift in perspective to reconcile opposing views that can transform our culture?

reNourish Studio is a culture lab by Farmer’s Footprint designing and evolving businesses and financial vehicles in food and agriculture. We aim to shift the culture of our food system; by redirecting the role of financial capital from the central goal of the system to an enabler that can transform the way we farm and eat.

We believe the premise of our food system can evolve to be one of nourishment and celebration.

We are not satisfied with solutions that are simply “more of the same,” so we are gathering to support the ambitious intention of radically transforming our food system. Will you join us?

reNourish Studio Information
reNourish Studio is a three-year project. Our first gathering in Vacaville, CA September 24-26, 2021 is the final stage of our invitation process and is meant for us to decide together if joining the three year studio is a fit. After our September event, we will meet in person quarterly for three-day events and every other week for ninety-minute zoom meetings.

We are inviting a diverse group of approximately twenty California-based participants to join reNourish Studio with backgrounds in the financial sector, farming, community organizing, food processing, technology, and education. While the focus of the studio is business models and financial vehicles, we recognize that we will need stakeholders from the whole of the food system in the room so we can create together.

reNourish Studio will apply a host of financial vehicles (e.g. credit models, investments, profit-share, cooperatives, etc.) to our California food system. In year one of the studio we will identify projects rooted in our current work, in year two we will test these projects, and in year three we will refine and launch projects.

Throughout the duration of the studio we will explore the edge of our comfort zones, learn from one another, and deeply examine our current belief systems and their origins. There will be moments of awe and wonder and moments where we are forced to reckon with harsh truths and systemic realities. In a space of creativity, we’ll evolve our existing work or create something new entirely.

Our Foundations
Culture change
Altering the way we think, not how hard we work. We must bring to consciousness our current unexamined thoughts, work on evolving our thinking, and in turn shift our actions. We are walking together into the unknown, and will need to suspend our fear of not knowing where we will land. We will challenge ourselves to have truly novel thoughts.
Rehumanizing
Our food system and culture of colonialism and oppression has encouraged us to view people as machines in a system serving extractive goals. We must evolve our culture to honor the whole of life, human, plant, and animal, with dignity, respect, and reciprocity. Every person is unique and has an important role to play. Instead of relying on experts to tell us what to do, we will each work on building our capacities to express our unique contributions.
Relocalizing
The homogenization of the world has caused endless destruction of lifekind. Understanding the essence of our place and creating regionalized approaches that reflect the uniqueness of each place is essential. We will seek to create a global network of local phenomena.
Honoring complexity
We honor the complexity inherent in our living world. Instead of breaking down problems into parts and dumbing down our solutions to them, we will acknowledge our own place in the web of life. Instead of protecting and leaving nature alone, we will collaborate “as part of” her complexity.
Not compromising
Many of the crises we face are as a result of compromising and choosing between lesser evils. We are rejecting the notion that doing less harm or doing more good is enough. We won’t settle for degrading our soils, exploiting people, and eradicating ecosystems for the purpose of food production. We must evolve our food system to hold an understanding of the whole in mind in order to make decisions that aren’t at the expense of life.
Potential
When we work on problems, we bring our past issues into our design for the future. We will instead work on seeing the potential of our food system and design for what can be instead of what we are afraid will happen again. We have the potential to create nourishment for all people, to heal our soils, balance our climate, regenerate land, and to build economies that support and encourage this evolution.
Focus
We will work on cultural change through an “acupuncture point.” Our aim is to evolve the whole of the food system, and we will focus on a key point that can shift the whole – business models and economic vehicles.
Intention
Our aim is high in order to elevate our gaze and create evolution instead of more of the same. We don’t know if we will shift the culture of our food system but we will get closer if this is our aim.
Our Team
reNourish Studio is led by a carefully curated team who collectively have deep experience in regenerative development, agriculture, ecological design, business, alternative investment models, grassroots community organizing, permaculture, food ethnography, user experience, and indigenous land management.
Requirements
Joining us will require your time and your experience. We’ve shared this invitation with you based on your experience and understanding of the following: investing, lending, philanthropy, land stewardship, organizing people, teaching, technology, and food system logistics. In return you will receive an experience-driven creative container, filled with community and support, designed to develop your capability to think and create from a living systems paradigm.
We are seeking individuals:
• Who are interested in evolving our food system

• Well versed in five different forms of capitals (financial, built, living, social, and human), this could mean: investors, philanthropists, healthcare professionals, community organizers, farmers, educators, ecologists and more

• Who have unique life experiences, different ancestral heritages, and varied beliefs

• Based in California (you live and/or work here)

• Interested in developmental work and comfortable exploring beyond the edges of your comfort zone

• Who have a current business or project you are working on that is California and food based that you want to evolve, or you are willing to start and carry through a new project

• Able to listen to and value different perspectives, even if you don’t agree with them

Cost
The studio has an associated cost, as we are providing lodging, food, programming and support for three years. As a studio participant, you are not required to pay, but if you find the experience to be of value and are able to, we suggest that you make a donation (Farmer’s Footprint is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation is tax deductible). If you need assistance in order to join the studio (for example, covering childcare or travel expenses) please let us know. We estimate our cost per participant, per year, will be $35,000.

COVID Protocols

We are planning to have 31 people in person at Be Love Farm on September 24-26. Everyone will be required to show a negative covid test prior to arrival and we will be following county and state guidelines around in person gatherings.
Application

Our application process is meant to allow you to decide if you are interested to join us through self reflection. We want to connect with people who are intrigued and enlivened by reNourish Studio. Please set aside time to reflect on the questions in the form below. We’ll invite most people who submit applications to join us in person September 24-26, 2021 in Vacaville, CA. At the end of the event we will decide together if the studio is a good fit and whether you are interested in joining us for three years.

Please complete the following reflections: