Young leaders (1.5'ers) mobilizing community-wide response to the climate crisis through regenerative and equitable food systems
This video presents the food inequity problem in our area and some of the leaders who have championed a systems and community wide response to it. It also introduces high school senior Chaz Amos and recent University of Dayton engineering graduate, Sarah Richard, as "1.5'ers" who will be future leaders in the program.
This image provides the background of our space, the local implications of climate change, and our future casting as a result of this program.
This image describes the detailed vision of our application, what our young leaders, guided by hunger and climate advocates in our community, will be responsible for, and the technical details of our proposed regenerative and resilient food system
Lead Applicant Organization Name
Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions: Educational and research center for resilience and regenerative practices
Lead Applicant Organization Type
Small NGO (under 50 employees)
If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.
The Montgomery County (MC) Food Equity Coalition, organized by the Ohio, Montgomery County leadership, has been working on a food equity plan for the past 18 months in response to the identified food security crisis, is the sole stakeholder. This coalition includes governmental entities (MC Dayton Regional Green and Health and Human Services; non-profits working on behalf of food security for the poor (Hall Hunger Institute); farm support services (The Ohio State University Extension Office); entrepreneurial support (Central State University Extension Office); urban farming leaders (Dayton Urban Grown Cooperative); rural farming leaders (Keener Farms et al.); emergency food leadership (Dayton Food Bank); employment for homeless (Homefull); universities and schools (University of Dayton Institute for Applied Creativity, Hanley Sustainability Institute, and the School of Engineering, urban, suburban and rural high schools); and community leaders in food insecure areas.
Website of Legally Registered Entity
How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?
Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?
Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?
Miami Valley (SW Ohio, US), with a total land area of 2,279 sq.km
What country is your selected Place located in?
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
This image shows the dismal food statistics for the two Ohio, USA counties defining our place. Most striking is data showing that between these two counties, $US54 million is required annually to insure food security.
This images shows the devastation from one of nearly 20 tornadoes hitting our region on May 27, 2019. Windspeeds up to 265 kmh were observed. Sadly the tornados seemed to target only low income areas throughout our place.
This collage of images shows strength of our region. After the tornadoes and mass shooting, Dayton Strong signs popped up throughout our region. One image shows a farm - one of many which envelope our place. Another image shows an urban farm - one of many which have emerged in the past five years. Another shows the emergent social entrepreneurship hub in a formerly abandon building.
|The attached county boundary map shows our place. It shows a central urban area (Dayton) and its surrounding suburbs located in Montgomery County. The right-most highlighted county is Greene County; mostly rural. Agriculture comprises 68% of our place.|
|Demographically these areas are diverse. In the last U.S. 2010 census, there were 78.7% whites, 19.2% blacks, and only 1.26% Hispanic. Today whites comprise only a slim majority in the City of Dayton. In general, there is not one culture. There are many.|
|The attached ‘redlining’ map tells a sad story about our place. In 1937, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation rated a NW portion of Dayton as extremely risky for loans, because of “negroes moving in.” Today in W. Dayton, where a majority of blacks live remains difficult for residents and businesses to get loans. Worse yet, this area and all low-income areas throughout our place have been wrought by foreclosures, abandoned buildings, and food insecurity and its horrific health impact.|
But food insecurity is not just a West Dayton issue or even just an urban issue. 1 in 6 people (1 in 5 children) don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
|Recent trends are both very sad and inspiring. In 2017 Dayton was identified as the ‘epicenter’ of the US opioid crisis. In 2019, our place experienced two disasters. First, nearly 20 tornadoes carrying up to 265 kph winds touched down. Hundreds of buildings owned or occupied by primarily poor people were destroyed.|
|Second, was a mass shooting in August, where a Greene County resident fatally shot nine people and wounded 17 others using an assault weapon in downtown Dayton. |
|What has happened since shows our ability to respond to crises. A new and resounding theme has emerged - Dayton Strong. Dayton’s success in drastically reducing death from drug overdose has received national attention. Our community came together to help our tornado victims, providing temporary lodging and donations and help removing debris and re-building. Lastly, several million dollars have been raised for the shooting victims’ families. Homemade Dayton Strong signs have emerged all over, and we have been leading a ferocious effort to get the Ohio legislature to “Do Something” about gun violence.|
|Moreover, our community has responded to the food insecurity crisis. Over the past 4 years, more than $4M has been raised to support the development of a new cooperative grocery, Gem CIty Market, in the heart of the biggest food desert in our place (West Dayton).|
Last of all is the establishment of a social entrepreneurship innovation center in Downtown Dayton in a building - easily the most beautiful historic building in Dayton - which has been vacant for over 30 years. Its aim is to develop entrepreneurs from within underserved communities in our place. The symbolism is clear. From decay can emerge new beauty.
What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)
What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
(2020): Hunger affects almost 1 out of every 5 people. Within Dayton, more than 50,000 people live in food deserts. Presently, there are zero full service groceries in West Dayton for over 40,000 people. ZERO! As a result, people suffer from high rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses connected to diet. We saw a loss of 113,760 years of potential life in 2017, up from 92,715 in 2013. This is preventable.
In terms of climate change, our agricultural system is already being impacted. While winters are shortening, our growing season is actually getting smaller as a result of significantly wetter springs and very dry end of summers. This shortened growing season is significantly affecting our industrial farmers who have solely relied upon mono-culture agricultural production (corn and soybeans) that is strongly adversely impacted by the shortened season. This year, for example, spring flooding delayed planting significantly, creating the worst planting season on record.
Unfortunately, we are challenged with our response to Climate Change! Humans are wired to respond to immediate, personal threats. As such, we have not evolved to deal with this slow-moving threat
(2050): A University of Michigan study in 2013 documented that the biggest impact of climate change for the future will be more weather extremes, with winters, springs, and falls projected to be substantially wetter, but summers are projected to be up to 5% drier. Spring and winter rainfall is projected to increase almost 15 percent over the next several decades and by approximately 30 percent toward the end of the century (under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario). Similarly, a 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists presented research suggesting that under a higher-emissions scenario, average summer temperatures are projected to increase over the next several decades by more than 1.7°C and, toward the end of the century, by an extraordinary 6.6°C.
These changes in precipitation will lead to more flooding, delays in the planting of spring crops, and declining water quality in rivers, streams, and storage reservoirs. In addition, when precipitation falls, it is more likely to come in heavy rainfall events. In the coming decades, Dayton’s future 100-year flood will most likely increase by 10-20%, leading to further implications to economic, social, and natural systems. Projections show that 80 percent of counties will face a higher risk of water shortages by mid-century as a result of climate change. All of this amounts to even shorter growing periods and substantially more risk to food production in the future.
Most worrisome is recent research reporting a 17% decrease in corn yield for each 1°C increase in mean growing season temperature. The expected rise in summer temperatures, increased spring rainfall, and risk of drought events likely will result in yield declines from mono-culture crops at least in the range of 25%. The impact on farmers economically, let alone on food supply to the world could be devastating.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
Response to Local Climate Challenges:
We need to mobilize our community around solutions to combat climate change and food shortages that will affect all by 2050 -not just the undeserved. Climate Change does not have a face for us to respond to as a threat. So we need to make it personal! Galvanize our youth to activate, lead and inspire. Give a face to hope and solutions.
In the short term, the 1.5'ers will work with farmers to adopt time-tested soil protecting practices to help sustain the soil, including crop rotation, use of cover crops, application of conservation tillage, animal integration with crops, and region-wide planting of windbreaks. The latter will be accomplished by connecting to the university partner who will conduct a GIS enabled analysis to predict soil loss in 2050 as drought conditions worsen.
Also, in the short term, the 1.5'ers will grow the market for locally grown regenerative agriculture through outreach at schools, churches, libraries, groceries, and more; garnering support from healthcare organizations to subsidize purchase of such foods by food insecure people; establish a healthy food cooking mentoring program throughout the region; and inspiring action and providing the education needed to rapidly increase the number of urban and rural residential gardens.
For the long-term, our university partner will in response to the climate challenges develop a model to predict the best spectrum of crops to plant and planting schedules to maximize yields sufficient to meet all local demands for produce and grains year-round with farmers to optimize vegetables planted to the health needs of the community for an entire year, to minimize weather-related risk for farmers, and to maximize farm yields. The 1.5'ers will work with farmers to help them achieve a transformation in the crops they grow.
Response to Inequity Challenge:
First, the 1.5’ers will be selected from representative diverse communities from our region (urban, rural, and suburban high school and universities). Second, the 1.5'ers outreach will have tentacles reaching into all urban and rural food insecure areas first, and more affluent areas second. This outreach will be aimed at inspiring participation through the planting of gardens and the purchase and consumption of locally and regeneratively grown foods. Additionally, and as importantly, the 1.5'ers will be looking to leverage the IDEO Food Systems Prize to garner other support, both locally and nationally. These additional monies will be used to seed and support new social enterprises for people particularly in low income areas needed to support the initiative. A cooperative business model mentored by our project partners will be expected for all such enterprises.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
2030: Chaz Amos, 29 year old Dayton Mayor, in an Atlantic interview about the 1.5’ers movement.
Interviewer: Chaz, how did the 1.5’ers movement change you and the other 1.5’ers?
Chaz: As a high school senior presenting at the 2019 Dayton Food Summit, I remember saying “One day I will be Mayor of Dayton!” Wow! Today I am. Being one of the 1.5’ers enabled this... Can you imagine our audacity? In the face of the climate crisis, we believed that we could get our region to adopt 1.5C lifestyles through a local regenerative agricultural system capable of providing healthy food to EVERYONE, all while creating jobs, income, and improved health to people in need.
And we did. Today the 1.5’ers are taking our movement to places all around the world.
Interviewer: Can you tell me what’s different about the Dayton region today?
Chaz: Well...Everything. We had just responded to an opiod crisis, devastating tornados, and a mass shooting. We were just beginning to respond to the food crisis. Now, we have reduced our community wide carbon emissions by 50%! Yeah! And we adapted the food we grow to a shortening growing season in order to produce the most food we can and to meet the health needs of ALL people in our region and beyond. We also used to be a place of division; between black and white, rural and urban, and rich and poor. This initiative has brought our community together in ways that we frankly couldn’t imagine.
2050: Chaz Amos, 50 year old Presidential Adviser on Climate receives a UN Award for his leadership in the 1.5’ers movement. Here is an excerpt of his speech.
Chaz: When we started, we only hoped that we could have an impact on the Dayton region. We hoped. But we somehow struck a chord in our place. We helped all see that they could change the script.
But, we never ever imagined that we could change the nation…that we could change the world. But, we only succeeded because the world was ready for us. And we only succeeded because the planet needed us.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
This image shows the newly created 1.5 C Challenge competition developed by regional sustainability organization, Dayton Regional Green. This web-based challenge will document individual and institutional commitments and actions in growing (large-scale and residential) and large-institutional and individual commitments to 1.5 deg. C food consumption. Neighborhood, city, town, municipality, school, church, business, university/college aggregate commitments will be measured and documented.
Our place has proven resilient to crisis. So, how do we leverage this resilience to create an equitable food system?
Climate change itself is a crisis needing response. Our vision is first premised on the idea that if we can mobilize our community around action toward the climate crisis, we can advance an equitable food system FAR better than any initiative focused solely on improving our food systems. Second, our vision leverages an inclusive and transdisciplinary team formed of restorative ag experts, food insecurity advocates, academics, governmental leaders, systems engineers, and entrepreneurial leaders with the aim of creating a truly integrative food system solution, rather than siloed efforts. Third our vision is premised on the idea that young adults can and must be the champions of the transformation within all sectors of our community, because - THEIR VOICES CAN BE HEARD!
Thus, our vision is to advance a regenerative and climate-resilient food system with equitable economic benefits through the development and support of “1.5’ers”, e.g., young leaders, who will mobilize our community around a mission to live 1.5oC lifestyles associated with the IPCC targeted 50% carbon emissions by 2030; achieved almost completely through the region-wide food system transformation. Fundamentally, the 1.5’ers will be responsible for:
Engaging our region through story-telling, art, information, community engagement and practice to motivate all about the need to act in response to the climate crisis, empowering our community to respond through a regenerative food system;
Training 1.5 growers (both industrial and residential), encouraging and incubating entrepreneurial contributions to the mission, particularly among those dealing with generational poverty and job unavailability post-incarceration;
Creating 1.5 food consumers, consumers committing to food consumption practices that support the food production coming from 1.5 growers throughout the region; and
Broadening participation and leadership to local neighborhoods (1.5 neighborhoods), municipalities (1.5 municipalities), businesses (1.5 businesses), schools (1.5 schools, colleges and universities), and churches (1.5 churches) to grow the impact.
Why this vision?
The 2018 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned that humanity has 12 years to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 deg. C , “the line in the sand”, to mitigate severe climate catastrophe. Regrettably, we are now on pace for a 3 deg. C rise, with little hope that the international community of nations will respond quickly enough. The report also warned that global food shortages will be highly likely.
Second, there is much research that shows that crises bring people together. Researchers have demonstrated that acute stress, and particularly when associated with potential death, leads people to greater cooperative, social, and friendly behavior (Van Dawans et al., Psychological Science, 2012). The Great Depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor and many other crisis events in the USA have shown how crisis mobilizes people. We saw a textbook examples of this in Dayton in May 2019, when numerous tornadoes devastated the Dayton area. In the midst of the damage and uncertainty, we saw spontaneous efforts of neighbor helping neighbor and people coming together, sharing whatever resources or skills they had for the greater good. We now want to mobilize around climate change to achieve the same fierceness of response.
Second we want young leadership to drive the transformation. Greta Thunberg’s selection as the 2019 Time Person of the Year exemplifies the potential for young leadership in reaching people of all ages. In March 2019, in what may be the largest youth-led protest in history, an estimated 1.6 million students in 300 cities around the world walked out of school to march for climate action. In the U.S. we have the emergence of the young adult-led Sunrise Movement looking to mobilize young people nationally. Our initiative aims to develop similar leadership at a local level.
How does the vision connect to the interconnected themes?
Our vision aims to give creative ownership of the solutions developed and implemented to the young leaders who are selected. What follows are the partner defined requirements for our initiative which scaffold the 1.5’ers potential actions.
Environment: The connection to the environment is obvious. We are leveraging the climate crisis to get region-wide action toward creation and support of a regenerative food system. The initiative will promote 1.5 deg. C living for all residents in our region. Specific actions addressing the local climate challenges include the development of 1.5 deg. C large-scale farmers committed entirely to conservation tillage, region-wide planting of windbreaks, production of diverse vegetables, fruits, and grains needed for local food consumption, integration of animals into cropping systems, and elimination of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers.
Diets: Our initiative: 1). seeks to expand regenerative agriculture growers among large-scale farms. This represents a shift away from mono-agricultural to more diverse plants capable of feeding our local population; and 2). incubates regenerative gardens in residences across the region - particularly in low income neighborhoods in our cities and towns, enabling people to eat what they grow, and more. Additionally, there will be a concerted effort by the 1.5’ers to develop 1.5 deg. C food consumers throughout our region, by working with large institutional food buyers (schools, hospitals, universities and colleges, large businesses) to serve as the early market for local food production growth, and by hosting 1.5 deg. C regeneratively-grown food consumption educational sessions at schools, libraries, and groceries throughout our region. It will also be achieved by seeding entrepreneurial efforts, particularly in underserved areas, to establish food distribution and healthy food cooking enterprises throughout our region.
Economics: The economic value for large-scale farmers from regenerative agriculture is substantial. Short-term things like no-till farming immediately impact the bottom line of farmers by reducing fuel and labor costs. Additionally, moving from mono-agriculture to agriculture that meets a substantially increased local market for vegetables almost certainly will increase the income derived per acre. Lastly, restorative farming practices actually increase topsoil - counteracting the topsoil loss associated with present farming practices. Thus, the farms themselves will be viable in perpetuity - something that would not be guaranteed were present practices to continue. Additionally, for farmers who shift to regenerative soil practices, a national start-up, Indigo Agriculture is offering $15-$20 per year per ton of carbon sequestered in the soil. This translates to $30-$40/acre per year.
Third, residential agriculture and 1.5 deg. C food consumption will benefit residents in many ways. According to Our Harvest, if only 5 percent of the billions of food dollars spent in Ohio were to shift to supporting locally produced food, 32,000 farming jobs could be created.
Fourth, improved health from transformed food consumption vastly reduces healthcare costs of residents and improves the ability to remain and thrive in jobs.
Fifth, our vision will be to seed entrepreneurial efforts associated with ‘growing education’, ‘growing’, food distribution, and vegetable-based cooking education throughout the region. We will work with a coalition of business and local governments to create a revolving loan fund for start up food enterprises and for new local growers, particularly looking to provide small start-up loans ($10-$20K) needed by local food entrepreneurs. Commercial loans at this level are difficult to obtain from banks.
Culture: Culture change is the essence of our vision.
Technology: First, we will be employing GIS enabled analysis to design appropriate placement of windbreaks throughout the region to insure retention of topsoil even as the risk of drought increases over time. Second, we will employ systems engineering optimization to develop protocols and schedules for planting to maximize yields for our community while meeting nutritional health needs and to mitigate risk for farmers as climate change impacts alter the growing season and weather patterns within the growing season.
Third, all of our efforts will be backed by the expansion of an existing local sustainability website managed by Montgomery County’s Dayton Regional Green with a new citizen challenge called the ‘1.5 C Challenge’. This challenge will document individual and institutional commitments and actions in growing (large-scale and residential) and large-institutional and individual commitments to 1.5 deg. C food consumption. Neighborhood, city, town, municipality, school, church, business, university/college aggregate commitments will be measured and documented. Our university partner will measure and document reduced GHG emissions, health, and economic impacts.
Policy: In this initiative, we will work to revise ordinances throughout our place that restrict small scale agriculture and the raising of animals. Communities that have lifted those restrictions can serve as encouragement to cities still maintaining prohibitions. At the state level, we will work to shift farm subsidies for single crop growing to subsidies to low income residents to subsidize purchase locally grown food. Nationally, we will work to push legislation enabling SNAP recipients to purchase food on line or from Community Support Agriculture.
How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?
Describe how your Vision developed over the course of the Refinement Phase.
Our initial vision was to rely upon a small group of young leaders who would inspire and activate our community to transform our food system..
But in the refinement period, an urban high school teacher said “Change requires connection to people you know and trust. And change agents have passion linked w/ experience.” Powerful.
We also realized that as a result of covid-19 we had to vision how to have big change with less? Our people helped. They asked, “Could we redesign education to address the change our community needed? Could we create after-school programs focused on developing young leaders experiencing justice through food action? Could we create a regional youth commission that would strategize actions needed to implement the vision and inform policies in all of our municipalities? .... Our vision now leverages 100,000+ K12 and 25,000+ college students as leaders of our transformation. The rest of our refinements are documented in the attached Refinement Timeline.
Please provide the names of all organizations you meaningfully partnered with to develop this latest version of your Vision (they contributed at least 10 hours of time to the Vision development during the Refinement Phase).
Agraria - Lead organization - Focus: soil regeneration
University of Dayton - University
School of Engineering
Institute for Applied Creativity for Transformation
Montgomery County Dayton Regional Green - Governmental - Focus: sustainability
Hall Hunger Initiative - Non-profit - Focus: hunger alleviation
Dayton Urban Grown/Ohio Environmental Farming Association - Non-profits - Focus: regenerative agriculture
Clean Energy 4 All - Non-Profit - Focus: resilience in low income communities
Community Builders Academy - Non-profit - Focus: developing new leaders
Thurgood Marshall High School - Focus: relevant experiential learning
Sierra Club - Non-profit - Focus:policy advocacy
Brixilated - Start-up enterprise - Focus: social enterprise
Co-op Dayton - Non-profit - Focus: creating cooperative enterprises
Dayton Development Coalition - Non-profit - Focus: economic development
Describe the specific steps you took during the Refinement phase to include different stakeholders to develop your Vision, including a description (age, profile, and total number) of the stakeholders engaged, and how you engaged with each.
Our Food Coalition ( regenerative and conventional farmers, healthcare professionals, economic development leaders, hunger advocacy groups, governmental leaders) has for 2 years worked collectively to develop a Food Plan to address food insecurity in our region. Our university connector has linkage to business and technology stakeholders. Our refined vision integrates the ideas of every single person among 200 we heard, as is documented in the attached. “Refinement Timeline…”
The knowledge and experience of Dayton Urban Grown, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Agraria, and the U. of Dayton (UD) developed the environmental theme for our vision. The local Sierra Club were most critical to the framing of our Policy vision. We wouldn’t have got to public food growing without them. Ascend Innovations, Inc., which has been working to combine data on addicts from the legal, healthcare, and treatment systems to inform individual pathways out of addiction inspired our combined food and health data systems. The Edgemont Neighborhood Solar Garden neighborhood leader and H2Grow inspired the idea for neighborhood greenhouses as a training ground for youth. Chaz Amos, 18 year old high school student and Community Builders Academy inspired the ideas for a 1.5ers youth commission and annual youth conference. The Hall Hunger Initiative inspired the idea of neighborhood peer health coaches. The Dayton Development Coalition and the Center for Innovative Food Technology defined the economic resources available to get off the ground and our holistic food system business model. The W. Dayton Social Entrepreneur Dev and Brixilated set the basis for our entrepreneurial ecosystem. The UD IACT team’s FB Live event yielded over 300 very influential comments about how young people could be our agents of change. Last, all 8th graders at Miami Valley School developed our Day in the Life play, demonstrating the incredible potential of community impactful experiential learning.
What signals and trends did you draw from to inform your Vision? Please provide data or examples that back up each signal or trend.
[IPCC says 1.5 C is the line in the sand, 1] + [Dayton has demonstrated ability to respond to crises, 2]
→ [Mobilize community around response to climate crisis]
[Greta Thunberg mobilizes youth climate strikes,3] + [Dayton high schoolers registered most people to new food desert mkt, 4] + [Change more likely when people know their influencers, 5]
→ [All of are young people as change agents]
[Experiential learning (EL) most effective,6] + [UDayton GEMnasium now has 1000 diverse students working with community for impact, 7]
→ [Coordinated community-wide EL for K-20 learning to advance 1.5ers mission]
[SW Ohio experiencing very wet springs and hotter, drier summers,8] + [Adding topsoil from regen ag increases resilience to rain, 9] +[100% of adoption of regen ag pauses climate crisis, 10]
→ [Regen ag as mobilizing sol.n to crisis]
[Urban farming improves poor neighborhoods,11] + [Dayton school-based initiative creating neighborhood growers, 12]
→ [School to neighborhood growing initiatives to improve resilience and health of people]
[50% of farmers in Ohio got 2019 federal subsidies for crop failures,13] + [Regen ag puts 60 tons C into soil per; 2050 cost of C est. $100/ton, 14,15]+[Dayton hospital subsidizing food to unhealthy youth, 16] + [Social impact investing fastest investing market, 17] + [Hemp and medicinal crops can add income, 18]
→ [New incomes to regen farmers and reduce food cost by shifting federal subsidies, carbon trading, healthcare subsidies, impact investing, and higher value crops]
[During Covid-19 businesses rethinking supply chains,19] + [Reduced use of fossil fuels exacerbates debt of frackers, 20 + [Dayton region is by far mostly farmland but can’t feed our people, 21]
→ [Bioregion for economy, food, jobs, energy]
[Google in Dayton to use AI to tailor treatment,22]
→ [Combined food/health data system to create individual food plans]
Describe a “Day in the Life” of a key food system actor within your food system in 2050 (e.g., farmer, chef, supply chain actor, food policy actor, etc.).
This video shows a day in the life of young leaders working on a visioned region-wide food system in the greater Dayton Ohio region in 2050. The video was developed by the Miami Valley School 8th graders as an example of community impactful experiential learning. These young people were provided a rough story. They added to the story; made it their own; developed the script; chose their roles and then made it happen.
The video was the Day in the Life play developed by the Miami Valley School 8th graders as an example of community impactful experiential learning.
The script that they drastically refined is shown in the "A Day in the Life.pdf" attachment.
Environment | How will your food system of 2050 adapt to climate change and remain resilient?
Our Impact Locally and Globally: In our 2050 bioregion we will have made as our dominant food paradigm distributed, regeneratively grown agriculture and fiber resilient to local climate changes. In so doing, we will have reduced our community-wide carbon emissions by 50% in 2030 (necessary for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C) and 100% in 2050. We will have also regenerated the biodiversity of plants and wildlife in our region through food forests, pollinator pathways, and wildlife corridors. To achieve this, we will have developed a unique community change process model. Additionally, we will have in place a food data system capable of helping farmers manage their own resilient food production and consumers know what foods are available and when. Our 1.5’ers will be feverishly working to guide other communities throughout the world adapt our change process and food data system to their local culture and environment. Were we not to help spread our approach globally, we would forever be responding to a climate we have no control over.
Our Food Data System: Nevertheless, we expect that the future will bring substantially wetter winters and springs with delayed planting, drier, hotter summers, and a higher risk of water shortages potentially wreaking havoc on our food production (CLISA, 2019). Achieving a resilient food system in the context of these changes will require a diversification of the crops under cultivation as well as systematic monitoring. For instance, expected warmer temperatures will improve our regions’ ability to grow different perennial species of fruits and nut trees but year-to-year variance in the length of the growing season may make some annual crops less reliable. Some of the changes in seasonality can be addressed through agricultural strategies such as use of cover cropping, buffer strips, contour farming techniques and storm water diversion to recharge our regional aquifer for resilience to extreme rain and drought (USDA, 2012). In cities and suburbs, urban and peri-urban agriculture can support services like stormwater mitigation, refugia for wildlife, and reduced heat-island effects, all environmental goods and services that are likely to be threatened by climate change. Crucially, regenerative farming in urban and rural agriculture can help to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon in healthy soils. We also anticipate that a robust market for carbon credits will be established by 2050 (forecast carbon costs are up to $US 100/ton), substantially improving the economic resilience of a regenerative farming system we’ve visioned. Our local resilience will rely upon our food data system, the research of student researchers at all levels and our lead regen food farmers who are continuously testing different farming approaches and crop varieties. The data portion of our food system will be able to do things individual farmers - even the best ones - can’t. Using historical weather, agricultural process, and food production data, it will be capable of forecasting seasonal local weather and accordingly specify appropriate crop and fruit/nut varieties. As our bioregion will produce more food than needed by our citizens, our food data system will also help to specify the food production needed to improve the resilience of other regions experiencing food shortages. Lastly, our food data system will be responsible for measuring carbon sequestered through the individual farming processes employed throughout our region and will continuously use the learning from these measurements to make recommendations to farmers of crops and growing processes to increase carbon sequestration in the soil.
Food Data System Supporting Community: The data system we are posing must strengthen the communal nature of the food system we have designed. The guidance and recommendations developed from it must be transferred to peer farmer coaches working with individual farmers throughout our region. These mentors will understand what each farmer they mentor is capable of doing. They will adjust the data based recommendations to the reality on the ground. As importantly they will guide each farmer in their development of resilient seasonal food production plans. The mentee farmers in 2050 will have developed trust over time in the recommendations of these data backed peer leaders.
Farms as Renewable Energy Centers: Last of all, we’ve envisioned our bioregion in 2050 to be not only self-sustaining relative to food, but also to energy. We see our farms as renewable energy centers - not just in converting solar energy to biomass, but also in converting sun (or moon) derived energy to energy meeting electric power needs in our communities. Our farms will house solar and wind farms with biomass to power conversion for nights and windless days, in order to meet 100% of the power needs in our community. Our citizens will know where both their food and energy come from.
Diets | How will your food system of 2050 address malnutrition in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, metabolic disease) for the people living there?
Our 2050 Diet system, like everything else we will be doing, is predicated on the belief that community interventions are crucial for advancing the health of each individual. This is how these take place.
It starts with our diverse 1.5’ers. With purpose in hand, they will be reaching out to all sectors of our regional community - urban, rural, black, latin, white, rich, poor, old, young - to mobilize their commitment to regen and just (just also means healthy) food. They will be going to schools, churches, groceries, corner markets, neighborhood centers, libraries and more to reach our people. They will help them understand the importance of preparing for the impending crises due to climate change. A covid-19 impacted community will be open to their urgings.
Schools as the Health Connector To Communities: In 2050 and really for 20 years prior our schools have been the lifeblood for a healthy ecosystem. Our farm to school businesses will have created an environment where our kids are only eating in their schools for lunch and more regen and just food grown by our region’s farmers. Plus, at each school, kids will be learning how to grow and cook for health. Our school family nights and healthy regen and just food curriculum in each school will sustain the inertia we have established, helping to create the next generation of healthy food consumers (and 1.5’ers). The school itself will be a focal point for healthy regen and just food for the entire neighborhood. Community healthy food events for neighbors to share their food and culture will be normal.
Neighborhood Growing for Health: Our community health connection extends into each neighborhood. There, home and community farming is happening everywhere. Our people grow both for extra income and health. Our neighborhood sidewalks enable people to move safely about. In a food context, they are able to collaborate with neighbors on their growing, share tools, trade foods produced, and share meals. Additionally, we will have developed neighborhood low cost geodesic greenhouses & aquaponics greenhouses in every neighborhood, heated geothermally and powered by 1-250W solar panel, as a training ground for future farmers. These greenhouses produce fresh fish and produce all year round for the neighborhood to supplement food canned and dried from the summer/fall harvests for winter use.
Our Markets as Experiential Centers for Health: Our community food/health connection will extend into our GEM City Market regional network. GCM’s first store will open in a West Dayton food desert in 2020. By 2050 this worker owned cooperative will be the dominant food shopping paradigm throughout our region, with larger stores and bodegas throughout our region, all emphasizing the selling of local food in its raw form, plus food processed by our foodpreneurs in the area. Each of the GCM satellites will have a healthcare clinic and pharmacy attached. And the stores are intended to be ‘experiential’; serving as a place where people come together to shop, where they can learn about the health connection of food, and where they can experience healthy and delicious food developed by their peers.
Food and Health Data System: What farmers are growing has been carefully designed by our intelligent Food Data System. With this system, we know not only what our urban and rural farmers are growing and when it will be harvested and where it must be delivered to, we know the health needs of our residents. By 2050 we will have collected and combined 25 years of data associated with each citizen’s food consumption, healthcare provider and neighborhood health coach evaluations, health monitoring, and medicine intake. Through advanced data analytics techniques, we will be able to develop individualized health plans for each of our residents, from which we will be able to prescribe health impactful foods, medicine, and lifestyle changes for each of our residents. Collectively, knowing the food needs of our region from a health perspective, we can adapt our food growing, not just to climate changes, but also to the individual and collective health needs of our community.
Neighborhood Peer Health Coaching: An individualized health plan based upon the rich data we will be collecting is insufficient however in realizing individual and community health. Health improvement requires communal intervention. This is how we’ve imagined it...Each neighborhood will have health coaches who facilitate the formation of and mentor peer health teams. These teams will meet in the teaching kitchen - share a healthy meal - and support each other’s efforts to realize the health plan prescribed to them.
Overall, not only will people not be hungry, but their food consumption will be nourishing. The healthcare inequity that dominates our region today based upon income and race will be erased.
Economics | Where and what will the jobs be that support living wages in your future food system of 2050, and how will these jobs impact gender equality?
Our 2050 economic vision is premised on the idea that the economy should be communal; it should build community and be strengthened by community.
Adding Income to Regen Farmers: Presently, regen ag farmers barely eke out livings. Our future economic system will assure both that our regen and just food farmers are able to thrive economically and the cost of their food is affordable to our people. We will do this by providing new sources of income beyond that provided by food consumers. First, we will establish a regen and just ag fund to provide low interest loans to farmers and foodpreneurs at various scales (from $100-$100,000). Second, we will establish a state regen and just food bank, utilizing funds now used to pay large-scale mono-culture farmers to not grow or to offset losses from poor growing seasons. These funds will be redirected to support the transition of large-scale farmers to regen ag, to provide infrastructure start-up support for urban farmers, and to provide annual support for our food and health data systems that we will be relying upon to maximize yields resiliently and meet nutritional needs in our communities. Third, we will rely upon healthcare system monies to sustain regen agriculture driven nutrition among our population in order to both improve health and reduce healthcare costs. Fourth, by 2050 there are estimates that carbon will be tradable at $100/ton (IPCC, 2019); this market could provide on the order of $100M US to our place. Lastly, our farmers will be growing more valuable medicinal foods with health value proven by our combined food/health data system and fiber foods for clothes.
Bioregional Perspective: We have envisioned numerous LOCAL foodpreneurial businesses selling food and food products providing living wage jobs to our people; jobs associated with our groceries, bodegas, our neighborhood teaching kitchens, our artisan food businesses, restaurants, and comfort food spots, which have replaced fast food everywhere in our region. But, we know that the economy bump from these alone will be insufficient to yield thriving economies in every neighborhood. In order for the food businesses to thrive and lift up our current low income neighborhoods, we need thriving local businesses of all types in EVERY neighborhood. Our aim is to fill the now empty storefronts existing now in many of our neighborhoods. Our bioregion aligns with our economic region. Thus a vast majority of our bioregion’s spending and production will stay here. People will know their business owners, as well as their farmers. And these owners (more about that in a moment) will be leaders in their neighborhoods. Collectively they will be injecting money into and providing jobs for people where they live.
Cooperative Business Models: Fundamentally, our vision for all of our local businesses is for them to be owner-proprietor (for smaller businesses) or cooperatively worked owned models for larger businesses. Our Co-op Dayton organization has been advancing this business model. Our new GEM City Market emerging in the food desert area of West Dayton will be such a business. In 2050 many of our people will be worker owners. They will have voice and respect. Further, our current emergency food provider, the Dayton Foodbank, will adapt its operations excellence to become a workforce development entity for citizens returning from incarceration to service a vast majority of the food distribution network.
Entrepreneurship Incubation: Lastly, the establishment of businesses requires an ecosystem for training and developing new entrepreneurs, as well as funding to get off the ground. We envision building from our Arcade Social Enterprise downtown incubator, opening in fall 2020, and our newly formed W. Dayton Social Enterprise Incubator to create satellite social entrepreneurial incubators in every one of our neighborhoods to create 1.5’ers themed businesses - all with missions to advance the economic and social capital of our neighborhoods and region. These incubators will be responsible for helping people take their business ideas to reality, providing them the skills and knowledge needed to develop business plans, management models, business logistics and more. They will also provide summer camp experiences in entrepreneurship to our youth. ,Funding will be achieved through our Dayton Impact Investing revolving loan fund, providing our citizens an opportunity to invest in ourselves to improve our communities. Our college and university partners will in support of this initiative develop metrics to evaluate the economic and social impact of our businesses, both individually and collectively. The true impact of our social entrepreneurial businesses will be shared with our communities.
Culture | How will your 2050 food system ensure that the cultural, spiritual and community traditions and/or practices in your Place flourish?
A Weakened Culture: Our vision for 2050 is less about ensuring that our existing cultural, spiritual, and community traditions flourish, and more about recreating cultural and community traditions which have been significantly weakened over the past 30 years; years exemplified by the loss of our region’s biggest employers and a series of crises (addiction, food insecurity, mass shooting, and now covid-19).
Culture through Purpose: Our 2050 culture starts with the silver lining associated with crises - they can bring people together. Researchers have demonstrated that acute stress leads people to greater cooperative, social, and friendly behavior (Van Dawans et al., Psychological Science, 2012). The Great Depression, Sept. 11, 2001, and our local crises reveal this. Our 2050 culture starts by helping our community see hope and own a common purpose - to say “Hey world, we’re not going to let the climate crisis dig an even deeper hole for us. We’re gonna’ respond to it now and we’re going to be better for it.”
Young People Leading Transformation: Leveraged by this purpose, a diverse group of young leaders who’ve been given the skills, knowledge, resources, and support will be the cultural transformation agent. They will be heard in schools, libraries, churches, and groceries, farmers’ meetings, and more. They will champion a solution to the climate crisis and future economic shocks that is based upon a regenerative and just food system and economy. Their influence on other young people, in schools and wherever else they are, will be particularly crucial in creating a web of influence that reaches ALL people in our communities, while insuring the next generation of 1.5’ers. As well, they will have helped to transform the education in our schools, colleges, and universities around transformative experiential learning supporting the fruition and evolution of our vision.
Community through Food: In 2050 our people will be growing food and fiber and raising animals everywhere; in home and community gardens, neighborhood aquaponics greenhouses, and larger scale farms serving collectively as our food shed. We’ll also be growing ‘free to pick’ fruit, nuts, berries, herbs, and pollinators in our public spaces. Growing in our vision is a community experience. The neighborhoods where people grow will have sidewalks, allowing neighbors to visit, share produce, tools, growing advice, and meals. In every neighborhood there will be a community food center. It will offer people a place to share and get advice about growing and cooking, free access to more costly, infrequently used garden and kitchen tools, healthy cooked and/or prepared food from the teaching kitchen or from neighbors for purchase, and just an opportunity to hangout over coffee and yummy food. It also offers growing and cooking camp experiences for kids in the summer. This center is a magnet for people to come together in their neighborhoods.
Community through Food Retail: We’ll have a killer food distribution network, delivering food to our GEM City food markets and to foodpreneurs of all sorts which are accessible to ALL in our communities through an intelligent people mover system. Our vision sees food shopping shopping by all and eating as communal experiences that should never go away . And it sees this inclusively for all. Even food assistance today made available through the The Foodbank, Inc through neighborhood centers will also be available to those needing it in our food markets. Those needing a little help will no longer have to feel separate from the rest; this is the heartbeat of our culture in 2050.
Moreover, the food grown in our food shed will align with the diverse food needs of the various cultures present in our community, including immigrants. Economic support for foodpreneurs will be supportive of these cultures as well. The differences in food and people in our community will be seen.
Knowing Our Farmers: All food sold in the markets or delivered to our regen and just food restaurants will be bar coded or DNA tagged. Every time people eat, they will know who their farmer was and will be able to send them a note of thanks for their food. Rural farmers will be likewise connected through a distribution of farmers co-ops offering a place for peer and tool sharing, teaching kitchens (everyone needs good healthy food), and just hanging out too.
Health as a Community Event: Health is seen also a community event. While our technology is capable of prescribing individualized health plans to ALL, with suggestions for food to eat (or not), medicine to take, etc…, our health solution acknowledges the myth of the rational actor, that although people know what they need to do, they struggle to do it. Health change requires cultural intervention. Our 2050 vision employs neighborhood healthcare coaches to form and advise peer health teams, where community members support each other in their pursuit of healthy living.
Technology | What technological advances are needed to transform your food system into one that meets your goals and embodies the values of your Vision in 2050?
Our technology vision for 2050 above all must support a communal nature of food.
Food Market: Our technological system first seeks to understand the food needs of ALL people throughout our region both in the near term and longer term. With this knowledge, it will: i) guide growers about what to plant and when to harvest; and ii) insure agricultural distribution for harvests are perfectly aligned with the geographical food needs in our region. Food will be delivered to people to their markets and local agriculture businesses when they need it. This alignment between food production, distribution, and consumption will guarantee ZERO agricultural waste - something that is critical to deep carbon emissions reduction.
Food Distribution: Our technology will manage the distributed food distribution system. For greater system resilience, we will be reliant upon multiple agricultural distributors and storage/processors throughout our region, not just one. Our technology will provide real-time recommendations for agricultural collection and distribution throughout the entire network and outside the network to meet identified food needs within our region and elsewhere. Bar codes or whatever technology exists then (DNA tags?) will be assigned all produced items identifying the farm/farmer from which it came. This data will carry over to the food consumer, who will know who their farmers are. An app will enable food consumers to connect with their farmers individually and thank them for their service.
Farms as Renewable Energy Centers: Renewable/sustainable farming will need an all-electric infrastructure based upon renewable and waste-to-energy concepts to be viable. This technology is designed to work with the farmers to enable their operations, create infrastructure for shipping of food to consumers/processors, and increase the carbon storage of our farms. The technologies that will enable this concept include: sharable portable solar arrays connected to the farm co-ops to support higher power, infrequent farm operations; waste plant matter fermenters and methanol fuel cells for plant matter that cannot be composted or plowed back into the land to be used to provide farm power when solar energy is insufficient; and all electric vehicle to grid / grid to vehicle farm equipment.
Climate Adaptation: Our technology will leverage knowledge of the historical local, national, and global weather patterns to project short-term and long-term patterns to design for climate adaptive food production that is aligned also with all food needs. A central food data and learning system will maximize food yields which meet all local needs and, because our food shed will produce more food than can be consumed within our local markets, projects exportable food needs to meet food shortage expectations elsewhere in the country and world. This food data system will also test and measure the yields from different varieties of plants and animals and different precision regen ag processes in order to adapt recommendations to rural and urban farmers to improve or sustain yields, maintain consistent yields throughout the growing season, and maximize economic value to farmers. Our foodr data and learning system will also be responsible for measuring carbon sequestered through the individual farming processes employed throughout our region and will continuously use the learning from these measurements to also increase carbon sequestration in the soil. We envision exploiting the fruits of ongoing research to measure carbon storage in soil at scale and with reasonable cost.
Health: Our 2050 health data system will leverage health data obtained through automated health monitoring (body temperature, steps taken, calories burned, resting and exercise heart rates, blood pressure/oxygen/sugar levels, ecgs, and who knows what else by 2050), from the healthcare system, and food consumption data for each person in our region, from which relationships between individual and community health will be established to the spectrum of influences on that health, including food. Thus we will be able to develop customized health plans for each individual which will include tailored food, medicine, and exercise prescriptions. Bionutrient refractometers will be available to food consumers to quantify the nutrient compositions of the plant foods they are considering.
Policy | What types of policies are needed to enable your future food system?
The policies we will need to enact center around this sequential framework: commitment to the purpose of responding to climate crises -> removal of barriers for regen and just food and fiber -> governmental proactive leadership -> creation of a state-level economic framework to lift up regen and just food and fiber -> cementing regen and just food and fiber as the only option. All of these policy changes will be achieved through the leadership of our 1.5’ers, who not only work with our backbone support advisors to construct the policy details, but also, and more importantly, help to develop community backing for policies. With community backing, policy approval is certain. An early adopter / diffusion approach will be employed all along the way. Draft policies will be developed with early adopter municipalities in mind, presented to our regional governmental connector, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, who will share with each of our governmental entities and facilitate conversations between members. Our policy process, like everything else with our initiative, is communal.
Commitments: Step 1 in the process is for our 1.5’ers to get commitment for every municipality in our region. The diverse make-up of these leaders and the backbone advisors will make this possible. Specifically, they will be striving to get our municipalities individually and ultimately as a whole to first sign on to the Climate Emergency Declaration, which at this time has 482 cities worldwide signed. Having our people see that our governmental leaders have acknowledged the existential threat of climate change with its commensurate economic disruption will help the 1.5’ers advance their voice into our communities. A declaration, however, is meaningless without an understanding of how we can act with a commitment to do so. Our 1.5’ers will be seeking our municipalities to individually and collectively commit to 50% carbon emissions reduction by 2030 (the amount and timeline urged for in the most recent IPCC report), a commitment that is easily achievable from significant penetration of regen and just food and fiber system. Leaders will not only see that this system is feasible, economically viable and even beneficial, builds community, and differentiating for our region - something that is essential for economic developement.
Removal of Barriers to and Strategic Design of Urban Regen and Just Food Zones: Zoning regulations in many or our municipalities do not permit front yard gardening, native plant gardening, pollinator gardens, urban chickens, rain gardens, rain barrels, alternatives to lawns. As municipality commitments are being made, policies will be developed to remove all of these barriers to regen and just food and fiber in strategically and community designed city and town regen ag zones.
Governmental Leadership: Policies will be enacted to locally legislate public and business space growing; carbon sequestration ‘forests’, prairies, fruit tree orchards, berries, herb gardens, pollinators, and wild flowers. The policies will declare public food spaces to be free to picking by citizens. Governmental organizations will also take the lead in committing to the purchase of energy from solar farms on farms in order to reduce governmental carbon emissions. This commitment will help create a market for solar power from our farms from our public. Statewide this will require policies which enable any and all solar farms to be grid connected. Additionally, we will have helped to establish policies needed to create a civilian conservation corps in which young people can serve by planting trees throughout our region as part of the 1 trillion trees initiative.
Creation of an Economically Viable Place for Regen and Just Food and Fiber: In 2019 50% of Ohio large-scale farmers received federal subsidies for either not growing or due to crop losses associated with an extremely wet spring and drought conditions at the end of summer. The 1.5’ers will be working with local leaders to pitch an alternative use for these subsidies to support regen and just ag. Policy efforts will specifically address the creation of a state regen and just food bank to provide infrastructure investments for larger scale farmers to transition their growing and home and community gardeners to begin their farms. Beyond investment this bank will continue to invest in the regen and just farmers to boost their income and reduce regen and just food costs annually.
Institutionalizing Regen and Just Food and Fiber: With regen and just farming becoming the dominant paradigm, policies will be developed to permit only this type of farming in our region.
Describe how these 6 Themes connect with and influence one another in your food system.
Key: $ = Economy, C = Culture, E = Environment, D = Diets, T = Technology, P = Policy
Our theme connections must begin with our culture change agents,1.5’ers (C), who establish community receptivity to a vision (C) for adapting to climate changes (E) and its economic shocks ($) through regenerative ag food (E) and businesses ($). Their inspiration will particularly activate young people everywhere in our region to lead change within their own spheres of influence (C).
In 2050 we will be bioregional. Our diets (D) will be connected to our regeneratively grown (E) and income producing ($) food in home and community farms (C), in rural farms, and even on public properties where fruit and nut forests and berry and herb gardens abound. Home and community farming and public grown food will be made possible through local policies (P) overcoming barriers to such growing. Further regenerative food farming will be associated with living wage incomes ($) through the establishment of an impact investor backed regen and just ag fund providing start-up and improvement low interest loans at various scales ($), creation of a state regen and just food bank from a redirection of federal farm subsidies for mono-culture farming (P), and use of healthcare monies to sustain regen ag driven nutrition paradigms to improve health and reduce healthcare costs (D,$,C).
Our Arcade Social Enterprise incubator and its satellites will have established 100s of co-operative enterprises (C), all organized around local regen food or made goods ($). Our neighborhood storefronts and markets, which today are empty in many communities, will be rich community assets for enterprise ($) and community connections (C). As well, our neighborhood food centers and aquaponics gardens will provide spaces to help in community growing (C, $), get growing guidance from their neighborhood farming mentor (C,$), borrow tools from the tool shed ($), get a meal prepared by neighbors in the teaching kitchen ($, D), and learn new strategies for healthy food cooking (D).
Our schools will continue to be the lifeblood for developing the next generation of regen ag farmers (C,E,$), local entrepreneurs ($), and healthy food consumers (C,D).
Our food and health data systems (T) will provide income to data scientists and managers ($), but more importantly create a learning network that: maximizes yields and income for regenerative farmers ($,D,E); adapts food species and growing techniques to climate changes (E) and maximizes carbon storage (E). Moreover, our ‘farms as renewable energy sources’ for our entire community (C) will enable region-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 (E).
Last, our linked food and health data systems (T) will enable tailored health plans to include nutrition recommendations (D) for each person. But, individual health requires communal support. Our neighborhood health coaches ($) and health teams (C) will improve the realization of these plans.
Describe any trade-offs you may have to make within your system to attain your Vision by 2050.
Our ideal vision for 2050 is to be bioregional - almost completely self-sustaining relative to our food and economic systems. The potential dislocations are numerous.
The business dislocations emerging from the fruition of our vision are frankly gigantic. Our vision doesn’t rely upon industrial ag and the businesses supporting the growing and processing of it; national grocery chains whose departures have left underserved areas foodless; chain corner stores, mini-marts, dollar stores, and gas stations filling the void with wholly unhealthy foods; fast food and chain restaurants of all types; and more. Many of our citizens work in these arenas. Our farmers are almost exclusively reliant on industrial ag.
The shift away from this system cannot happen overnight both from a practical perspective and the potential disruption to loss of jobs. It has to be gradual.
It starts by creating a market for regeneratively grown food among institutional buyers (hospitals, schools, and universities). This enables a shift in some of our farmers who are seeking more resilient farming practices to insure long-term economic viability and because they value the dirt that nourishes their crops. We also convince people to be growers of their own food. These efforts will put a dent in the non-regenerative chain market food sales and as well the unhealthy local neighborhood food locations. Both types of businesses will ultimately be open to other options to sustain their business. Our food system leaders will help them understand the growing demand for local, regeneratively produced food. They will have no choice but to include it in their business. Increasingly, more and more people will adopt growing and healthy food practices. Our fast-food system will be dramatically impacted. Restaurants, in the same way that bars responded to include local beer options as a local brew-pub movement burgeoned, will be expected to provide more and more local food options. Again, the fast-food owners are generally franchise owners. They will not necessarily be tied to the chain system. Some will innovate solutions based upon healthy comfort food and find success. Others will follow. Perhaps the rest will follow.
There will ultimately be farmers and businesses unwilling to transition who, instead of changing, close shop ideally selling their assets to new food business owners developed through our ecosystem. In this way, employment can be shifted.
The dislocations we create outside of our bioregion may not be rectifiable at least by us. The large-scale mono-culture crops we now grow goes mostly to feed industrial meat production. Our actions could harm this industry and employment within this industry. Additionally, our emphasis of local purchasing will ultimately harm the chain retail and restaurant industry. However, we see the shift to local wealth spread to local owners as a better option for not only our region but the nation/world as a whole.
3 Years | Describe 3 key milestones that you would need to achieve within the next three years for your Vision to be on track?
1. Young Leaders Activate Citizens
We will hire two young leaders immediately. We will also get additional diverse leaders from or local high schools, community colleges, and universities, leveraging resources available through these. Then we will develop these leaders in a 1.5ers Boot Camp, where they will learn about regenerative farming, food and health inequities, how to connect with people as change agents, and leadership. They will be backed by all of the visionaries who contributed to our vision.
These leaders will then organize a region wide youth conference to gain buy-in from other young leaders in our communities. Then they will reach schools. In 3 years, over 100,000 young people will be activated to be agents of change in their communities. As a result of their advocacy and action, 50% of citizens in our community will be growing and eating regeneratively grown food.
2. Develop Region-wide Regenerative Ag Cooperative
Lead institution Agraria will be responsible for coordinating the development of a regenerative ag cooperative that will include all farmers and distributors. Also, regenerative ag mentors will be trained and developed to support all neighborhoods and rural communities. These will be the teachers of others about how to do regenerative agriculture. In 3 years, there will be hired peer regen ag mentors in all underserved neighborhoods and in at least 10 rural communities.
3. Establish Holistic Food Business Ecosystem
Leveraging training and business support available through the Center for Innovative Food Technology (Toledo), start-up funding through Jobs Ohio, and the DDC’s Priority Committee, coordinated through the creative collective design processes of the UDayton IACT partner, we will mature ideas for priority food businesses, develop inclusive leadership, and establish business plans for growing, processing, distribution, and cooking. In three years, food businesses will be established through the entire food system.
10 Years | What progress will you need to make—by 2030—that would set your Vision up to become a reality by 2050?
1. Institutionalize Experiential Learning throughout Region
Coordinated community impactful experiential learning (EL) drives K-20 education throughout our region. The 1.5ers young leadership will be responsible for helping to prioritize the EL. Additionally, a youth internship program has been established to provide young people real-world experiences in food and social entrepreneurial organizations. Lastly, a youth citizens corps has been established to engage all youth in our region in work to support environmental resilience in our community.
2. Establish and Actionalize a Food Data / Health System
In Y3-10 U of Dayton in partnership with Ascend Innovations will be responsible for developing a combined food / health data system. An app will be developed for growers and sellers to document production and sales. At Y10 our distribution network logistics will: insure alignment of food collection and distribution; document what has been grown regeneratively, where it has been sold, and who is eating it; be able to trace food borne pathogens to their source; be able to measure carbon sequestration; and will associate individual nutrition to health through a combined food / health data system.
3. Establish New Income Sources for Regen and Just Food
Critical to the entrenchment of regen and just food is the establishment of new financial sources for food production that will both increase income to regen ag growers and lower costs for citizens for the purchase of the ag products developed. By Y10 the DDC Priority Development and Advocacy Committee will have established state level policy to shift farm subsidies from mono-culture ag to regenerative ag to improve farmers’ resilience; we the demonstrated health benefits of regen food will be leveraged to establish healthcare system financial incentivization; and the food data system capability of documenting carbon sequestration for each farm will permit aggregation of carbon and selling to the carbon market.
If awarded the $200,000 prize what would you do with it?
First, we have a party!
Really! A party for young people throughout our area celebrating the prize and lifting up 1.5’ers. Young musicians. Foodpreneurs. Regenerative ag growers. It’ll be a feast celebrating the wonderful world of regen ag led by young, diverse farmers, with a diverse group of regen ag foodpreneurs. And the young people will let some of our government leaders have a turn to talk. And we’ll have local entertainment legends John Legend and Dave Chappelle there letting everyone know how important this movement is to the Dayton region.
Next, we need to hire 2 critical young leaders - we already have them - future mayor of Dayton Chaz and future County Commissioner Sarah. Yeah, they were in our original video. These two will be the voices for outreach in our community - particularly to principals, teachers, and young people in schools, at Farmer’s Markets, at Future Farmers of America Events, at neighborhood urban growing incubations, to healthcare organizations.
But, $200K doesn’t go a long way. Our vision requires MUCH, MUCH, more support to get started. We need more young leaders. We need to get a food data system off the ground. We need to be able to help fund start-up home and community farms and foodpreneurs. Our backbone team (people supporting the 1.5’ers) needs to figure out how to amplify the award. …Third, we will use the funding to help grow funding. We will need minimally 10x $200K. Some funding will go to key backbone support people to work with the OpenIDEO team to develop a strategy for soliciting backing from our local and state governmental leaders, our healthcare system, our schools and large institutions, and local impact investors (we will establish a 1.5’ers impact investing fund). Additionally we will strategize how to reach national and global philanthropists to garner support for a model for systemic local change that could be transferred anywhere. Then we move from strategy to action.
If you are chosen as a Top Visionary, The Rockefeller Foundation would like to share your Vision widely with a global audience. What would you like the world to learn from your Vision for 2050?
Foremost, we would like the world to understand the power and ability of young people to transform young communities. Throughout our visioning, we have seen them stepping up, offering ideas, leading discussions with other young (and older) people, and contributing ideas. Their opinion in regard to reaching young people has mattered the most. We see their passion for justice and action toward the threat of climate crisis. We see them undaunted by the despair that has erased the dreams of older people in our community. And we see their belief that they can make a difference. We know that the change we’ve envisioned in our community will ONLY be made possible through their (our) voices and actions.
Secondly, we’d like the world to know how important it is to dream. We’ve never done this as a community. Now, we have a plan that our government leaders can lean into, that our environmentalists can get behind; that our economic development people and banks can back, that our neighborhood leaders can leverage to excite their peers, that our healthcare system can stand behind and support, that our university faculty can design experiential curriculum around, and that enables schools to transform the lives of kids. We’ve never had this before. It starts with a dream.
Please share a visual that communicates the structure and operation of your food system in 2050. Describe the visual.
Vision video developed by 1.5ers leaders Sarah Richard and Chaz Amos.
This video shows the vision for the greater Dayton region for our 2050 food system. A vision that above all is led by our young people. A vision that provides ALL of our people healthy food that has been regeneratively grown. A vision that helps show a model for sustaining our planet and our very lives.