Virtually Psyched: A Look at 2020’s First Large-Scale, International Psychedelic Conference

A Recap of April’s Virtual Psychedelic Conference and Diversiphy Database

By Simon Gerard

A massive psychedelic conference was held virtually in April, which feels like last year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Put together by Microdose Psychedelic Insights, The Conscious Fund, The Green Light, Alan Aldous Communications, and many other sponsors, the two-day event brought together over 100 notable speakers to discuss a wide range of topics.

While I watched it live, I was impressed that well over 1,000 people were viewing each panel. We would have loved the chance to meet everyone in person, but we wouldn’t have seen such high numbers without a captive audience and speakers, due to COVID-19. Viewing live was worth it to catch the real-time chat commentary, as well as suggest and vote on questions. And thanks to the virtual nature of this conference, people who couldn’t marathon the 20 hour-long event are able to view the recordings at any time.

Photo: Emre Öztürk

Panels covered psychedelics and related topics such as plant medicine, mental health, science, tech, PTSD, ethics, regulations, philanthropy, investing, and more. Several of the well-known people in psychedelics contributed, starting with the opening keynote from Robin Carhart-Harris, the Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at the Imperial College of London. Psychedelic luminary and ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna hosted a fireside chat. Rick Doblin, the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) gave the closing keynote. A very welcomed last-minute addition was Paul Stamets, the famed mycologist, author, and entrepreneur.

This conference resulted in a massive treasure chest of fresh insight from thought leaders in all areas of psychedelics. There is too much good stuff for me to go over in one article, but you can check out the summary and speakers, as well as purchase the recordings at microdose.buzz. You can use the code “SIMON” for 10% off.

I also spoke with the team at Alan Aldous Communications who helped organize the psychedelics conference, and plan to host more in future. They work in public relations for the cannabis and psychedelic industries, and are looking to find voices of all backgrounds that can speak at future events through their “Diversiphy” initiative.

Photo: Esteban Lopez

The Diversiphy database is a long time coming and fills the need for a variety of perspectives and experience at events like this,” Alan Aldous Communications’ Alana Armstrong said.

“We noticed this need even in the cannabis industry, which is where the five of us started. Now that we’re straddling both the psychedelics and cannabis worlds, we want to create something tangible that helps event organizers draw from a more varied buffet of brains.”

If you’d like to recommend yourself or someone you know who’s interested in sharing their knowledge on psychedelics with Diversiphy, please fill out this form.

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