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What does the future look like to you? How will cities and their urban counterparts interact in the future? What role will Arts & Innovation play in sustaining the emerging restoration economy? And most of all...What exactly is a restoration economy?


Among the many veins of meaning that run through the ideas and practices associated with a Restoration Economy, it can be summed up as the Green Economy 4.0. This 4.0 approach to building a Green Economy takes the triple-bottom line of sustainability (people/planet/profit) one step further to include the spiritual dimension of the ‘people’ who are actively building a Green Economy. We can then ask what is required for us to merge our ecological reality with economic sustainability? 


To frame the restoration economy another way we can take some guidance from one of the Green Economy’s primary architects and author of The Green Collar Economy, Van Jones. While laying the foundation for the Green Economy in 2009 he asked many supporters “All for Green?” To which we responded “Green for All!.” Today and in the coming decades a more potent question/response is in order. One that defines the essence of the emerging Restoration Economy by considering not only ecological and economic resilency but centralizes the importance of interpersonal resilency. To this end, this campaign asks All for Soil? Our hope is that your response will be… 


Soil for All!    


With this being our mantra, Renew Forsyth (link to website) has been working hard over the past six years to rewire the way cities that their supportive regions relates to soil. This has required us to reflect deeply about how cities are designed and maintained in order to reboot how we think about and do development. We have found that this rewiring of our our minds and bodies requires one central strategy that deeply imbeds a simple and very practical approach to community development: 


Collaboration through Co-Creation! 


This transformative approach works with rather than for urban and rural stakeholders by engaging in active and deeply responsive community dialogues with the people that make up our city and towns. Regular ol’ folk whose day-to-day experiences testify to both the barriers and most importantly the solutions to some of our most perplexing problems.   A central part of this solutions-based approach is to envision a future characterized by healthy, inclusive, collaborative communities and economies. 


With your support, we will be able to launch a restorative approach to economic development that links both rural and urban communities in such a way that builds rather than impedes the emergence of a regional Culture of Health. A restorative approach will establish a new benchmark for progress across America. Specifically, your funds will help us build one of the most advanced Food Innovation Districts in the world in collaboration with numerous local, regional, national and international partners. 


Central to this food-based (and more importantly – soil-based) strategy is linking co-creative ARTS with health INNOVATION that will enable a wide variety of solution-based programs in Winston Salem to emerge. Our approach leaves an us vs them politics aside and instead focuses on people and results. We invite you to bring our replicable program into your own community and/or city through our partnership with’s “Community Dialogues Program”


Renew Forsyth’s campaign breaks down into four tiers in order of their importance: 


  1. Health Innovation: Co-launched in collaboration with our national partner, this campaign seeks to raise at minimum $400K for building the core components of Winston Salem’s emerging Food Innovation District; 

  2. Co-Creative Arts: Co-designed in collaboration with our international partners that make up the Living Architecture Systems Group, this campaign hopes to raise an additional $400K to design and install Winston Salem’s Living-Lab which will be a co-creative hub for both the city and its surrounding bioregion; 

  3. SEED Communities: We hope to raise an additional $200K to launch two SEED projects in both Wake and Buncombe counties as a part of our state-wide resilency strategy

  4. Assembling Restoration: And finally, an ambitious goal of raising $1M to both enrich the food innovation ecosystem through a novel cooperative-innovation model that generates revenue as well as bring to life the bioregional HUB located at the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center. The first will be a food grade production facility that deeply integrates IRDI’s proposed cooperative-innovation model that will be fully unveiled on Hallows Eve (October 31) with the release of chapter three from this campaign’s book entitled Assembling Restoration: Living Architecture & Regenerative Design. The second that will be home to the largest food forest in the US and accompanied by a cutting-edge regenerative farm that provides food for the center as well as serves as a HUB for regional leaders and practitioners to experientially learn about the emerging science related to connecting souls to soils. 


The Only Difference Between Souls and Soils is U and I!





Upon release on September 30th, please take the time to watch the comprehensive video that the lovely folks at put together for us. It explains the proposed Food Innovation District that in essence seeks to “close prison doors and open doors of opportunity” by bringing “people together across racial, social, and partisan lines to create a future with freedom, dignity and opportunity for all.”

















In addition to this video release on September 30th, the Renew Forsyth team put together the following Action Plan that fully describes the proposed Food Innovation District and breaks down how your contribution will be utilized to bring Soil to All!



Image by Ian McIlwraith


Getting to Know Winston Salem

Known as the City of Arts & Innovation, Winston Salem is home to one of the largest urban integrated Innovation Districts in the US. Once an international hub for the tobacco industry, Winston Salem has actively engaged in numerous innovative revitalization projects over the years to both rebrand itself as well as attract health-based industries through its Innovation Quarter project that was launched in 2012 by Wake Forest Health Sciences in partnership with city, county and state governments, local businesses, developers and community members. Winston Salem’s wealth was deeply tied to the agricultural-based industry of tobacco that was grown by its surrounding rural communities. Given the decline of the tocabbo industry, the city transitioned from “Camel City” to “the City of Arts and Innovation” at the end of the 20th century. This transition has for the most part signified a change from agricultural innovation to technological innovation that in essence has detrimentally severed the city’s innovative capacity from its greatest asset: its soils and the farming communities that nurture them. In short, as the tobacco industry declined so did agricultural innovation and as a result the city and its surrounding communities suffered. Today, Winston Salem and its surrounding region is home to some of the highest childhood hunger rates in the country partly due to the collapse of the tobacco industry. 


In many other cities and regions that are in transition across the US, the collapse of supportive industries exacerbates poverty and health disparities which often come with a sense of community stakeholders focusing on the problems rather than the solutions. To serve as an example of one such problem, the 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's County Health Rankings and Roadmaps indicates 33% of Forsyth County adult residents are obese, 12% have diabetes, and 18% lack access to exercise opportunities, all of which are closely linked to lack of insurance and food insecurity. It goes without saying that food insecurity impacts childhood development and overall health. This is an area of particular concern for North Carolina, which has “one the highest percentages in the United States of children under 18 years of age who are food insecure on a regular basis…almost 1 in 4. (24.6%).” Many of these issues are made worse by a lack of resources—it is difficult for many citizens to purchase necessities to maintain or promote health, such as healthy food and basic healthcare services.


Winston Salem’s Future 

Already the City of Winston Salem is at the forefront of communities coming together to reimagine what our cities may look like if we view them through the lens of solutions rather than the problems. In this spirit, the City of Arts & Innovation is one of four communities across the US that are a part of’s “National Solutions Tour.” This solutions tour seeks to incorporate “natural and engineered systems that help build resilency and adaptability to climate change while simultaneously providing sustainable, social, and economic benefits.” Efforts through this exciting solution-based initiative brought together Republicans and Democrats across the US to envision a collaborative path forward. It is our hope that by linking Winston Salem’s Renew Forsyth model with this national campaign, we can come together as a country to assist federal agencies coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make communities more prosperous and resilent. All the while improving our relationship with the living-soils that support ALL of us! 


All for Soil?


Soil for All!


With the goal of developing a North Carolina based Food Innovation District, the Renew Forsyth network along with its national partner and international partner Living Architecture Systems Group have formed a comprehensive and replicable strategy for revitalizing our cities and towns from the soil-up. Defined by a strategy rooted in connecting Arts & Innovation, the Renew Forsyth network is connecting regenerative agriculture-to-food (Tier 1: Health Innovation strategy) and curriculum design-to-schools (Tier 2: Co-Creative Arts strategy) in a way that promotes health and wellness. This network is established within and supported by two key “Grounding Institutions.” The first is our “Health Innovation” partner led by Faith Health, a division of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Health. The second is our “Co-Creative Arts” parner led by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts (“SECCA”) in collaboration with Winston Salem Forsyth County School System (“WS/FCS”). Through this strategic partnership we are co-creating a cross-curricular STEAM initiative. Taken together, we are developing a comprehensive model which links the following programs (along with other programs) under a single strategy rooted in a health and wellness approach to community and economic revitalization:


  • Farmers Coop: Launched in early 2021, this multi-stakeholder coop has begun growing and integrating Bionutrient Food into several supply-chains across the city including restaurants, hospitals, schools as well as a mobile market that supplies food to six food deserts across the city.

  • Food Innovation HUB (“Food HUB”): Made up of a number of organizational partners, the Food HUB will play a central role by linking the Food Innovation District’s core-grounding partner Faith Health to the city’s food ecosystem and its emerging bionutrient food production and distribution supply-chain. 

  • Food Innovation Lab (“iLab”): Serving as the intersection between Arts and Innovation, the iLab located at WS/FCS’s Career Center links the emerging food innovation district into Forsyth County’s school curriculum through culinary Arts. The iLab is presently integrating its experiential garden-based curriculum into other subjects through a STEAM lens. 

  • Resilient Community Platform: Born from Winston Salem’s oldest black community and led by the Happy Hill Gardens Neighborhood Association, this community will serve as a model for other neighborhoods to adopt, adapt and integrate.  


In addition to encouraging healthier communities in the City of Winston Salem and across Forsyth County, Renew Forsyth will function as a bioregional HUB for both North Carolina as well as the Great Appalachian Valley as a whole. The following components define Renew Forsyth’s bioregional strategy outlined under tier two, three and four that will be described in detail in the following “TIER” sections below.


  • Tier 2: Co-Creative Arts 

Rooted in Renew Forsyth’s well established Story of the Plate platform and providing a “Compost + Soil-Based Response to COVID-19”,  this initiative connects the dots for the emerging bio-economy by building a citywide co-creative Soil-to-Arts entitled “Remember the Lilies.” 

  • Tier 3: SEED Communities

In order to establish a state-wide peer-to-peer network, this project is working with the cities of Asheville and Raleigh to establish seed projects within their vibrant food ecosystem. 

  • Tier 4: Assembling Restoration

Along with launching a market-based strategy, St. Francis Springs Prayer Center will launch a bioregional HUB that will be home to the largest food forest in the US along with a regenerative farm which will serve as an experiential curriculum for regional leaders and practitioners to adopt, adapt and integrate Renew Forsyth’s resiliency model into their local communities. 


Both Renew Forsyth and the emerging bioregional network operate within the three components of restoration defined by the Institute for Regenerative Design & Innovation: 

Be watching as we release our videos for the Three Components of Restoration, launching every week starting October 28th!

  1. Regenerative AgricultureOct 28

  2. Curriculum DesignNov 4 

  3. Health InnovationNov 11





Bringing all three restorative components together is our innovative Co-Creative Arts initiative developed in collaboration with the world-renowned Living Architecture Systems Group (“LASG”) – with institutional support from SECCA. The following video explains why we are confidently calling Winston Salem’s emerging Food Innovation District one of the world’s most advanced strategies for renewing our cities and towns from the soil-up.    


RELEASE NOVEMBER 3 // SECCA VIDEO St. Martin (racial inclusion)




In addition to this video, the co-creative team at LASG put together the following pamphlet that beautifully depicts and briefly describes the proposed Soil-to-Arts component of the Food Innovation District and breaks down how your contribution will be utilized. This pamphlet is a “teaser” for a larger LASG Folio publication that will be released early 2023 by Riverside Architectural Press.  


RELEASE NOVEMBER 7  // Aiôn: A Beatific Glimpse 




As the region’s first LASG testbed and one of a few living architecture installations across the globe attempting to launch a genuine “Living-Lab,” Aiôn will stand as a concrete example of what is possible in the emerging fields of Living Architecture & Regenerative Design. As a Living-Lab, Aiôn constitutes an Open-Access Living Technology that is designed with special consideration to the cultural, social, political, ethical, environmental, and economical conditions found within the Great Appalachian Valley region of the southeast. The installation will be located at SECCA which has a long-standing relationship with the WS/FCS such as The Intersections Project (TIP).


Aiôn will be the “virtual” hub for all restorative projects, both in Winston Salem and beyond. Through this IndieGoGo Campaign and your contributions, we will be able to build LASG’s first ever Living-Lab and help encourage restoration throughout the state of North Carolina and hopefully expand into the broader bioregion of the Great Appalachian Valley. For more information please see “Aiôn: A Beatific Glimpse” link above.






With your help, our hope is to initiate the emergence of a restoration economy across both North Carolina and the Great Appalachian Valley which adheres to a regenerative approach to economic development through the agriculture, education and health sectors. Above and beyond our goal of completing both IRDI’s Food Innovation District and LASG’s Living-Lab, we will enrich the emerging bioregional peer-to-peer network. With your contributions, we will ensure a regenerative approach to economic diversification across the Great Appalachian Valley region of the US, co-implementing a series of SEED communities which will define how the model can be adopted, adapted and integrated into other urban centers. 


  1. RELEASE NOVEMBER 1 // Wake County SEED Project All Saints Day

  2. RELEASE NOVEMBER 2 // Buncombe County SEED Project All Souls Day





All aspects of this process will adhere to our comprehensive approach to co-creating restorative economies that is outlined in the soon to be released book entitled Assembling Restoration: Living Architecture & Regenerative Design. This “augmented book” will be slowly released on IRDI’s Patreon site during this campaign through the links below. The book in its entirety will not be released until early 2023. However, the introductory sections below, chapter three entitled “Prototype Envelopes: Our Collective Immune System” and a working draft of concluding section φ entitled “Our Time: Aiôn” will be released during this campaign. Chapter three fully describes the proposed Food Innovation District model and proposed Bioregional model in detail. Section φ will beautifully illustrate and fully outline LASG’s proposed Living-Lab. The first will be released during this campaign and the second shortly following as a limited edition Folio entitled Aiôn: Co-Creating Community Resilency through Metabolic Design (see “Living Architecture - Folio” Perk ).  


  1. SEPTEMBER 30 RELEASE // Front Matter

  2. OCTOBER 3 RELEASE // Preface: Substance

  3. OCTOBER 10 RELEASE // Introduction: Thought

  4. OCTOBER 17 RELEASE // Doctrinal Primer: Extension

  5. OCTOBER 24 RELEASE // NeoRealist Manifesto: Idea

  6. OCTOBER 31 RELEASE // Prototype Envelopes: Our Collective Immune System 

  7. NOVEMBER 7 RELEASE // Our Time: Aiôn  



In connecting this work and the emerging “new physics” that it represents with the real-world within which we live and move and have our being, the final tier of this campaign will bring to life a self-sustaining food innovation ecosystem as well as a bioregional HUB located at the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center (“SFSPC”). The Center is a non-profit, interfaith retreat center serving many of the states that make up the Great Appalachian Valley including North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee. With your contribution, SFSPC will be transformed into a contemplative/meditation HUB for training and recharging local/regional/national leaders, practitioners and emerging proactivist. Your contributions will be utilized to build out some of the following:


  • 15+ acre food forest that will provide a contemplative/meditative journey for exploring the emerging science that is beginning to link SDoH and Trauma Resilency;

  • Regenerative Agriculture farm that demonstrates various approaches to restorative farming practices including permaculture, biological farming, and bionutrient food production;

  • In collaboration with The Bionutrient Institute, the Center’s farm will become a regional Living-Lab that that connects the science of bionutrient food production (i.e., soil - to - food) with the emerging science related to regenerative therapies. Thus completing the crucial soil - to - food - to - gut - to - neurophysiology circuit that is the foundation of the new physics outlined in Assembling Restoration;

  • Cutting-edge food grade production facility that will integrate IRDI’s cooperative-innovation model and will potentially be funded through a “Direct Public Offering.”         


Here is a conceptual "fly-through" of the proposed food forest and regenerative farm. 


RELEASE NOVEMBER 5 // VIDEO FLY THROUGH St. Elizabeth (John Baptist) 




Image by Markus Spiske
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