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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

EGA Garden States 2022: A Recap of the Conference

The EGA Garden States 2022 conference, a prominent event in the field of psychedelics and plant medicines, successfully brought together a diverse group of experts and enthusiasts. Over the course of several days, attendees had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of presentations and workshops, fostering discussions about the latest research findings, personal experiences, and the deep connection between psychedelics and nature. With a focus on microdosing research, entheogenic culture, the role of technology, and community building, the conference proved to be a hub of knowledge and camaraderie.

One of the notable speakers at the conference was Dr. Vince Polito from Macquarie University. Dr. Polito shed light on the intricacies of microdosing research, cautioning against overstating its effects and highlighting the limitations of claims surrounding this practice. His insights provided attendees with a balanced perspective, encouraging a more nuanced understanding of microdosing and its potential benefits.

Another esteemed speaker, Dr. Marg Ross, captivated the audience with her presentation on the St Vincent’s Melbourne psilocybin-palliative care trial. Sharing her experiences and findings from the trial, Dr. Ross shed light on the potential therapeutic applications of psilocybin in supporting individuals in palliative care. Her research sparked meaningful discussions about the role of psychedelics in improving end-of-life experiences.

Sam Bannister, a representative from Psylo, an organization focused on psychedelic drug development, also took the stage to discuss the future of psychedelic research and the potential breakthroughs that lie ahead. Bannister’s talk offered attendees a glimpse into the exciting advancements and possibilities in the field, fueling their enthusiasm for continued exploration and innovation.

In addition to the scientific presentations, the conference also delved into the experiential aspects of psychedelics and plant medicines. The Seed SistAs, renowned herbalists and educators, delivered an informative talk on taboo plants, enlightening attendees about lesser-known species and their potential benefits. Douglas Rushkoff, an acclaimed media theorist, explored the intriguing intersection between the internet and psychedelia, examining how digital experiences can enhance and influence psychedelic journeys. These presentations broadened participants’ perspectives, encouraging them to consider the multi-faceted nature of psychedelics beyond the scientific realm.

The theme of blending technology with psychedelic experiences was reinforced through contributions from Mark Pesce, Lynette Wallworth, and Melissa Warner. Pesce, a renowned futurist and virtual reality pioneer, discussed the possibilities of incorporating virtual reality into psychedelic therapy. Wallworth, an award-winning artist, shared her immersive installations that aimed to deepen the psychedelic experience. Warner, an advocate for harm reduction, explored the intersection of digital platforms and safer drug use practices, highlighting the potential of technology in promoting harm reduction strategies.

Throughout the conference, the importance of fostering a connection to nature and the environment was a recurring theme. David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, emphasized the power of storytelling in promoting sustainable practices and permaculture principles. His talk resonated with attendees, inspiring them to explore ways in which they could integrate permaculture into their own lives.

Renowned environmentalist John Seed delivered a passionate speech, urging attendees to protect and preserve the natural world. His emotional plea served as a reminder of the crucial role psychedelics and plant medicines can play in fostering a deep sense of connection and stewardship towards the environment.

To cater to the practical demands of the community, the conference also offered workshops on mushroom cultivation and cactus propagation. These hands-on sessions provided attendees with valuable knowledge and skills, enabling them to actively engage with the plants they hold dear.

Beyond the informative presentations and workshops, the conference served as a unique platform for attendees to reconnect with old friends and forge new connections within the psychedelic community. Members of the Australian Psychedelic Society’s national committee had the opportunity to meet in person for the first time, strengthening their collaborative efforts and setting the stage for future initiatives.

Overall, the EGA Garden States 2022 conference served as a catalyst for knowledge sharing, personal experiences, and the cultivation of a shared passion for psychedelics and plant medicines. By providing a space for experts and enthusiasts to come together, the conference fostered a sense of community and laid the groundwork for continued advancements in research, exploration, and societal understanding of these powerful substances.

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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