Save the dates: September 29-30, 2022 – more details coming soon!

overview OF Forum Held May 20-21, 2021

Global society faces unprecedented change, in living conditions, economic displacement, information and technology, and our natural environment. On one hand, we have seen amazing social evolution over the decades with technology allowing the individual to stay connected to families, information, and all points global.  And yet with this pervasive means of connection we find profound loneliness, isolation, and an epidemic of depression and suicide. How can we make the connections that support a mutual flourishing?

We examined the kinds of connections that transcend our individual selves, and reach our inner desire to be part of an interconnected world… perhaps to transform our current sense of the individual, community, and society, from independent to interdependent. More specifically, we examined connection across the primary aspects of our lives – with:

  • Self, and the many selves in our amazing neural networks
  • Others, and the multiple communities we intersect
  • Nature, and the breadth of life forms that surround us

This year’s forum was designed not only to broaden curiosity, but to appreciate the energy that can only emerge with connection. It was our attempt to leave attendees with more questions than they came in with and to provide methods to cultivate connection and make ourselves and our planet more alive, healthier and happier.

HELD May 20-21, 2021:
watch recorded talks & panel discussions

Speaker Bios
Speaker Abstracts


You may be interested in checking out the brochure for  THE SWISS BIENNIAL ON SCIENCE, TECHNICS + AESTHETICS, to be held October 22, 2022 in Lucerne. The theme is Rethinking Consciousness and the Mind and our colleague, Dr. René Stettler, is the coordinator.  [There is also a great YouTube trailer for this event.]


Heather Berlin, DPhil, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

Sam Gandy, Ph.D., Research Assistant, Synthesis Institute; Senior Science Writer, Wavepaths; Collaborator, Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College,  London, United Kingdom

Michael J. Gelb, Author, Motivational Speaker, Consultant, Juggler; Sleepy Hollow, NY

Rachelle C. Sampson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; Senior Policy Scholar, Center for Business and Public Policy, Georgetown University, Washington DC

Daniel Siegel, M.D., Founding Co-Director, Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC); Clinical Professor of Psychiatry; Editor-in-Chief, Norton Professional Series in Interpersonal Neurobiology; Co-Investigator, UCLA Center for Culture, Brain & Development, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

Rosalind Watts, Ph.D., Clinical Director, The Synthesis Institute, Zandvoort, North Holland

Andreas Weber, Ph.D., Writer and Independent Scholar, Berlin, Germany


William Linton, President & CEO, Promega Corporation; President, BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute; Co-Founder & Executive Director, Usona Institute, Madison, WI

Penny Patterson, Vice President, Communications, Promega Corporation, Madison, WI

Steve Paulson, Executive Producer, To The Best Of Our Knowledge, Wisconsin Public Radio and PRX, Madison WI

“rap up” performance artist

Baba Brinkman, rap artist, science communicator, and award-winning playwright, New York, NY


Bruce & darby Fetzer – silver
craig & karen Christianson – bronze
background information

Coordinated by Promega Corporation and the BTC Institute, the International Forum on Consciousness offers a lively two days of information-sharing and discussion regarding important – and often challenging – topics. Launched in 2010, the Forum has focused on exploring dimensions of consciousness.

This has involved looking into various realms, pushing the envelope at times, while remaining centered on engaging our audience and our speakers. We have been guided through a range of topics, including creativity, near death, entheogens, intelligence in nature, business evolution, the effects of sensory inputs and ways of detecting and measuring consciousness. Consciousness of Connection – Awakening from Despair to Awe continues this journey.

VIDEO LIBRARY (2010-2019, 2021)
ARCHIVE: Event brochures, abstracts & video links: 2016-2019, 2021

The Forum ended up being a monumental event in my life. By meeting more people and gaining information, I now have a much better grasp on what I want to study and how I would like to apply myself in society to change it for the better. ”

- 2019 feedback from an undergraduate student