Psychedelic culture is on the rise once again, and this time it’s a truly global phenomenon. Organizations around the world are emerging as hubs for scientific research, harm reduction information, and policy reform. At the same time, psychedelic conferences are appearing more frequently across the globe to bring together organizational leaders, cultural representatives, authors, and psychedelic activists. One great example of this in eastern Europe is the Czech Psychedelic Society (CZEPS) and their upcoming event Beyond Psychedelics: Global Psychedelic Forum which is happening this fall in Prague. With a holistic approach and an incredible lineup of world-renowned speakers, this psychedelic conference looks to be unforgettable.
Taking a Comprehensive Look at Psychedelics
While some psychedelic conferences take a more specialized approach in the substances they cover and the themes of their presentations, Beyond Psychedelics looks to take a very holistic approach. While both specialized and general focuses have their merits, it’s exciting to see an event with such a broad scope and the impressive array of speakers needed to back up that cross-disciplinary theme with more than enough expertise. CZEPS’ own description of the event and the goals behind it gives a good insight into just how all-inclusive the topics covered will be:
“Rather than looking at psychedelics merely as chemical substances, this conference aims to focus on what is ‘beyond’. We want to explore the context of psychedelic use and its interaction with the psychedelic experience, and to give voice to knowledge and experience gained within multiple frameworks, as we believe that much can be learnt by sharing different perspectives.
We will be discussing the position of psychedelics within the nature, therapy, culture and society… Considering the fact that the context of the psychedelic experience is influenced by its purpose, we will take a look at various purposes of the psychedelic experience, discussing them from different points of view, including medical treatment, self-experience for mental health professionals, personal growth and wellbeing, creativity purposes, spirituality and religion, community and societal needs, ecology, study of consciousness, and recreational use and entertainment.”
The Lineup of Speakers
You would be hard pressed to find a psychedelic event with a more impressive array of speakers than Beyond Psychedelics. Headlining the list is Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) executive director Rick Doblin, one of the forerunning psychedelic advocates alive today. Renowned ethnobotanist and researcher Dennis McKenna will also be present, who is a board member of the Heffter Research Institute and also known for his books written with and about his brother Terence McKenna.
Other notable presenters include neuroscientist Roland Griffiths from Johns Hopkins University, lead investigator of the psilocybin research initiative to study psilocybin’s effect on smoking cessation and anxiety in terminal cancer patients, and Amanda Fielding of the UK-based Beckley Foundation, whose research into the mechanisms behind altered states of consciousness has helped lead the way for drug policy reform based on scientific research. Anthropologist Beatriz Labate of the Mexico-based Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP) will speak about the cultural and historic use of peyote in Mexico, and Jonathan Dickinson of the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance will speak about the possibilities of using ibogaine for addiction treatment. Ingmar Gorman, the Administrative Director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program at the Center for Optimal Living, will speak about how mental health professional can use therapy to help individuals integrate a psychedelic experience.
The merit of having an event with such a spectacular set of experts is not just about the star-power that these speakers bring, but more so about the incredible opportunity it offers to be exposed to a truly global and multidisciplinary sampling of what leading edge psychedelic researchers, advocates, and organizations are doing around the world in their own specialized ways. In a psychedelic soup such as this, it is very fertile ground to accomplish one of CZEPS’ stated goals of creating “new synergies” between people, practices, and perspectives.
Learn More About Beyond Psychedelics
If you would like to learn more about Beyond Psychedelics and CZEPS, check out the conference’s Facebook page and their website. For more detailed information on each of the presenters, read the speakers’ bios and workshop descriptions.