Every year in the Swiss ski-resort town of Davos a flurry of business leaders, tech moguls, financers and corporate big cheeses descend. And it’s not for the slopes. It’s for the World Economic Forum.
Mmmm… so what’s the big deal? It’s just a lot of rich folks getting together and talkin’ rich, right?
Well yes, kind of. But they certainly do have a bearing on the wider world. It is at the Davos forum that these leaders of industry debate, pledge money to causes, and look at key issues that will affect the global infrastructure. For example, in the past few years the climate has become a key topic at Davos. As many of the attendees own companies that contribute to climate change, their participation in the reduction of this is essential. This year the focus was on ‘environmental capitalism’ — achieving net zero emissions.
So, although the irony of a bunch of people arriving in private jets to discuss climate change is not lost on us, we can be hopeful that there will be a positive trickle down.
History at a Turning Point
After all, this years theme was ‘History at a Turning Point’. It strove to cover topics as diverse as food and poverty, the war in Ukraine, the possibility of recession and how it can be avoided, the creation of jobs, and the end of COVID-19 . This included a focus on providing vaccines to countries who still do not have access to them.
So far, so noble! But, this year Davos had some unusual guests. Not gatecrashers per se, but certainly a sorta attendee.
Yes, psychedelics came to town.
The Psychedelic House of Davos
The Psychedelic House of Davos was a ‘satellite event’. In conjunction with, but not directly associated with the World Economic Forum. Each year the buildings in downtown Davos host different countries and businesses. You are likely to find the India HQ hunkered near the Wall Street Journal HQ, and the whole promenade is awash with cryptocurrency and blockchain representatives all putting on a show to catch the eye of investors. These include panel discussions, networking events and a party atmosphere with loud speakers and presumably very good snacks.
Even amongst this cacophony the Psychedelic House of Davos stood out, and initially wigged out the crowds. One of the organizers, Maria Velcova explained;
“We spark curiosity with the neon sign out front. Once people get curious and brave enough to come down here, they realize that this isn’t some underground electronic dance party. They find themselves meeting world-renowned scientists, clinicians, policymakers, people from for-profit and non-profit sectors, and experts from leading academic institutions.”
The presence of psychedelics at this year’s WEF was unusual. However, many of the big names associated with the event (i.e. billionaires) such as Peter Thiel and Elon Musk have already either invested in or positively endorsed psychedelics.
The Content of the Psychedelic Program
It also seemed fitting that this major step was made in Switzerland, the country where LSD was birthed at Sandoz laboratory by Dr. Albert Hofmann. Kevin McKenzie of Cavin Medicines, also a Swiss drug company stated;
“Hosting this in Davos at the same location as WEF is a genius strategy. It brings fresh eyes and bright minds to psychedelic drug development, which builds credibility for these medicines.”
And the strategy covered all bases. The program contained just shy of 40 sessions and speakers. The speakers included everyone from scientists, researchers, investors, entrepreneurs to shamans. The sessions included everything from panel discussions and lectures to immersive experiences such as breathwork or ecstatic dance workshops. No drugs were on site, although those discussed included psilocybin (from magic mushrooms and truffles), MDMA, LSD, ayahuasca and DMT.
The main topics up for debate were practicalities. These included how to manufacture psychedelics responsibly for medical use, and how to ensure countries and medical companies put them in their health coverage programs. Other topics were more ethics-based. These included how to safe-guard against abuse in a treatment that makes the patient extremely vulnerable.
The program itself, hosted by Energia Holdings Incorporated, advertised:
“Learn from leading experts in the medical psychedelics industry who are setting the narrative for both mental health and psychedelic therapeutics on the global stage in front of world leaders.
Experience sessions curated to engage all six senses and give an unforgettable heart-opening, mind-stimulating, experience of human connection through sound meditation, breathwork, and conscious leadership workshops.
Connect with psychedelic entrepreneurs, researchers, policy makers, and nonprofit leaders and some of the world’s most innovative psychedelic organizations. These include the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Maya Health, Compass Pathways, Imperial College London, and many others.”
Burning Man Jokes and ‘Psychedelic Capitalism’
Despite this, the media reporting on this year’s forum had a giggle at the concept. Headlines made snarky comparisons to Burning Man festival, and TV comedian Stephen Colbert teased in his opening monologue;
“Oh good, just what billionaires need: a looser grip on reality.”
On top of this, many psychedelics devotees reject this growing appearance of a new ‘psychedelic capitalism’, as it has been dubbed. It can be worrying when something with the potential for good is co-opted for big business. Especially when it is a naturally occurring resource such as magic mushrooms or truffles.
Investment Will Be Good for the World
However, the conversation at the WEF seemed largely focussed on accessibility and the potential to treat the world mental health crisis.
And, an unfortunate truth of psychedelic research is that due to the legal red-tape, large financial donations are essential to get studies underway, and many investors are put off investing by the red tape in the first place. If House of Psychedelics could snare some determined new backers to fund research, then that’s a win for all of us. It costs a staggering $2.6 billion for one new drug to be researched, tested and finally brought to market. And, it seems that the only people with this kind of moolah are the kind of people you find at Davos.
Psychedelics on the World Stage
Psychedelics — causing a stir in all echelons of the world. Let’s hope that now they are becoming an even hotter topic, their healing powers can touch even more people in need.
And, billionaire or not, you can get your hands on premium natural psychedelics right here, right now with our magic truffles and magic mushroom grow kits. You’ll find yourself hosting your own ‘psychedelic forum’ in no time… 😉