Addressing The Failure of Pharma: Exploring a New Model for Psychedelic Healthcare with Dr Bennet Zelner & Dr Rosalind Watts

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Disconnection and the Mental Health Crisis

The undeniable link between our growing mental health crisis and an individualistic society is evident. Individualism contradicts our biological drive for community and, notably within economics, including the pharmaceutical market, may contribute to the rising cases of psychological disorders.

As psychedelic therapies increasingly integrate into mainstream health systems, the question arises: can these new healing modalities mend the wounds of our disconnected societies, or will they continue in the footsteps of the traditional pharmaceutical approach?

The pharmaceutical approach, driven by individualism and market-centric ideologies, has exacerbated the mental health crisis. Disconnection and extraction from community systems, stemming from these ideologies, have led to higher rates of disorders like depression and addiction. In contrast, the Pollination Approach is a ground-breaking economic model for delivering psychedelic-assisted mental healthcare. It shifts the focus from merely managing symptoms to actively promoting wellness for individuals and communities, challenging divisive economic ideologies contributing to rising mental distress in society.

Recognizing that wellness relies on the continual renewal and recirculation of system resources, the Pollination Approach entails developing treatments aligned with the growth and healing of communities, both economically and through cooperative organization.

Join Business Professor Bennet A. Zelner and Psychedelic Therapist Dr Rosalind Watts as they delve deep into the intricate interplay between psychedelics, capitalism, and societal structures. We will look at the potentials and limitations of psychedelic therapy while seeking pragmatic solutions for its safer and more inclusive future. They will discuss the principles and strategies for an ethical, community-driven, and inclusive psychedelic industry.

Key discussion points:

  • The impact of individualism on mental health and communities
  • Economic forces perpetuating the mental health crisis within our current medical model
  • Psychedelics as an opportunity for reconnection and healing damage caused by individualism
  • Psychedelic treatment centers as a means to benefit community wellness
  • Growing and supporting a psychedelic industry without relying on venture capital or other individualistic economic practices.



Dr Bennet A. Zelner

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.

Dr Rosalind Watts

Dr Watts is a clinical psychologist, a mother, and a nature lover. Her work as the Clinical Lead for Imperial College London’s psilocybin trial has made her one of the most prominent voices and minds in the field of psychedelic research.

Dr Watts has been named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Psychedelics as well as one of the top Top 16 Women Shaping the Future of Psychedelics. However, what sets Dr Watts apart is her focus on integration, harm-reduction and inclusion in the psychedelic space.

Dr Watts builds tools and structures to foster connectedness after psychedelic experiences, finding inspiration for their design from nature. Through all her work, Rosalind's main learning has been that safe and effective use of psychedelics requires substantial integration support. As a result, she co-founded the UK's first psychedelic integration group, and in 2022 launched ACER (‘Accept, Connect, Embody, Restore’) Integration - a global online integration community where participants follow a 13-month process together to connect more deeply to the self, others, and nature.


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