Awakened Futures Summit

By Steven Libowitz   |   April 30, 2020

Tristan Harrison, founder of the Center for Humane Technology; Nichol Bradford, CEO and founder of the Willow Group and co-founder of Transformative Technology Lab; Liana Sananda Gillooly, development officer, MAPS; and Jamie Wheal, co-author of global bestseller Stealing Fire and co-founder of the Flow Genome Project are among a dozen thought-leaders, researchers, academics and entrepreneurs set to speak at next weekend’s second annual Awakened Futures Summit. The event arises at the intersection of psychedelics, tech and meditation, considering how the renaissance of psychedelic science and the mainstreaming of contemplative practices are combining with the latest transformative technologies to create the next paradigm of healing and awakening.

The domain of transformative technology is offering new ways for amplifying the potency, and scaling the reach, of the two most powerful catalysts of human transformation throughout history in the use of psychedelics and engaging in contemplative practices. The conference will explore such questions as: How might these innovations be used and scaled in response to the ecological and social crises upon us? Could modern tech ever replace organic molecules and traditional practices as a means of shifting consciousness? What are the ethical considerations and risks of these developments? How do we preserve the wisdom of the ancient traditions as we move forward into an uncertain and technologically-enhanced future?

Of course, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the May 1-3 conference takes place in cyberspace, where panelists and participants will discuss and collaborate on the emerging synergy. Still, the summit expects to mirror, albeit virtually, last year’s highly participatory experience, boasting “UnPanels,” speaker-led breakouts, and virtual connection experiments to create a truly novel digital experience. UnPanels disrupt the normal concept of an expert panel to incorporate deep audience engagement, interaction and learning via having the presenters come prepared with one question that they believe defines the area of inquiry or intersection along with a three-minute explanation of why that question is important, leading to audience discussion. Most of the speakers have a cross-disciplinary focus, representing as well as seeking to bridge historically separate domains of transformation.

Zoom 2.0

Indeed, the event organizers plan to walk their talk via actively doing their own version of Zoom hacking to develop custom software to add totally new capabilities to the now-wildly popular virtual meeting format to create a highly participatory and immersive online experience. The Awakened Futures Summit is produced and hosted by Consciousness Hacking, a global community with a local Santa Barbara chapter that has met periodically at Fishbon – exploring how technology can be a catalyst for psychological, emotional, and spiritual flourishing. The $150 admission fee includes all of the workshops, seminars, discussions and breakout panels as well as access to recordings of the livestreams. Visit for more information, speaker bios, schedules and tickets. See for info on the local Consciousness Hacking chapter.


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