Psychedelic Futures: The Pollination Approach

  • Wed 2nd Dec 2020, 1pm – 2:30pm America/New York (UTC -05:00)
  • Online
Hosted by The Psychedelic Society
Activity Psychedelic Futures
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The Psychedelic Society's Psychedelic Futures series investigates not-for-profit, co-operative and community-led alternatives to the corporatisation of psychedelics.

For our first event we are delighted to welcome Bennet Zelner, PhD, associate professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and advisor to Usona, MAPS, MIND and Synthesis Institute.

Bennet is the pioneer of the Pollination Approach, an approach to psychedelic therapy that acknowledges the intrinsically interdependent production of individual and community wellness, and contrasts sharply with current pharmaceutical-centred approaches to mental healthcare.

It is rooted in the regenerative principle that all forms of local capital must be renewed and recirculated locally for a community and its members to thrive. 

The Pollination Approach envisions wellness centers, gathering places where community members may participate in a range of healing and community-building activities in addition to psychedelic-assisted therapy. Explicit reconnection activities for those who have undergone therapy include group integration sessions as well as community reintegration programs conducted in partnership with local organisations, such as businesses, cultural institutions, civic organisations, religious organisations, and others. These organisations may also serve as points of access, especially in communities where psychedelic medicines are viewed with skepticism.

The ownership and governance of wellness centres under the Pollination Approach is founded on two principles. The first is stakeholder inclusivity, the notion that an organisation should operate for the explicit benefit of its stakeholder groups including customers, employees, community members, and others. The second is distributed local ownership. Local ownership supports the health of community economic systems by promoting the recirculation of income, creating an economic multiplier effect from the local (re)investment that such recirculation enables.

At this event, Bennet will present an overview of the Pollination Approach before entering into conversation with Stephen Reid, with time for Q&A at the end.

Read Bennet's full article on the Pollination Approach with highlights by Stephen


Bennet Zelner, PhD

Bennet A. Zelner is an Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he teaches economics and global business. Bennet researches and advises on inclusive economic development, regenerative economics, institutional change, and delivery-of-care models for psychedelic therapy. His work has appeared in top-tier academic and practitioner journals. Bennet received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and he previously taught at Georgetown University and Duke University.  He currently serves as adviser to the Usona Institute and sits on the Economic Advisory Board of the MIND European Foundation for Psychedelic Science. He is also in the process of co-founding a new organization, the Transformative Capital Institute, which supports community-based regenerative economic initiatives.

Stephen Reid

Stephen Reid is a co-operative technologist and cultural changemaker who has trained in the fields of physics, complexity science, software development, meditation, psychotherapy, plant medicine, conscious sexuality and political activism. He is currently a co-director of Dandelion Collective (the not-for-profit worker co-operative behind the Psychedelic Society, which he founded in 2014), the lead developer of, a co-creator of Don't Go Back To Normal and a contributor to Enspiral.

Previously, he was the youngest ever board member of Greenpeace UK, was selected as the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Totnes, co-founded the New Economics Foundation's New Economy Organisers Network and worked as a technology consultant for organisations including the Labour Party, the Living Wage Foundation and Stephen has an MPhys in Physics from the University of Oxford, where he specialised in quantum field theory, and an MRes in Complexity Sciences from the University of Bristol.

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