“As Above, So Below” was this year’s theme, derived from the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772; Swedish theologian, scientist, philosopher and mystic) – more specifically, from his doctrine of the correspondence between different planes of existence, a strongly elaborated version of the classical macrocosm–microcosm analogy. 

Our presenters this year brought their experiences and teachings with the intention of expanding our understanding of how an expansive view of the universe and the micro unseen worlds can transform our awareness of self amid time, space, matter and energy.  

Some of the key questions that were addressed: 

  • How is our perception of self, others, the environment, and the universe influenced by our current concept of time and space, as well as by our cultural, historical, scientific and religious frameworks?  
  • How are we transformed by encounters that are beyond our current understanding of human embodiment, intellectual framework and scientific explanation? 
  • What are the current limitations of knowledge and technology which impede the conceptualization of what might be considered intelligent life outside our solar system? 

With each presenter and panel, we considered diverse perspectives on truth and reality, experiencing transdisciplinary views with different approaches to accessing states of consciousness, and as always, we were left with more questions than answers. 

The Forum provided immersive experiences, live music, and, most importantly, time for connection and meaningful dialogue with the presenters and attendees. 

keynote speaker

Abraham (Avi) Loeb, Ph.D., Frank B. Baird Professor of Science, Harvard University, Boston, MA

confirmed presenters

John Dunne, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Contemplative Humanities; Chair, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures; Core Faculty, Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Sutton King, MPH, Menominee/Oneida; Co-Founder & President, Urban Indigenous Collective, New York, NY

Elizabeth Krasnoff, Ph.D., Healer, Composer, Producer, Shamanic Practitioner, Researcher, Transformational Speaker; Sound Medicine, San Francisco, CA and New York, NY

Jeffrey J. Kripal, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Humanities; J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought, Rice University, Houston, TX

Paulo Roberto Silva de Souza, Director of Céu do Mar, Rio de Janeiro; President of Guananshe Co. in South Bahia; Manager, Jungle Clinic projects in Rio, Bahia and Amazonia at Mutum, Yawanawa village, Brazil

Rosalind Watts, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Founder, ACER Integration, United Kingdom

Margaret Wertheim, Science Writer, Curator, Artist, is the author of books on the cultural history of physics. Her science-based art has shown at the Venice Biennale, Helsinki Biennial, The Smithsonian; Director Institute For Figuring, Los Angeles, CA


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


Byron Metcalf, Musician and Director, HoloShamanic Strategies, LLC, Prescott Valley, AZ

Mark Seelig, Clinical Psychotherapist and Musician, Kelseyville, CA; Lead Therapist Trainer, Usona Institute, Madison, WI

Bruce & Darby Fetzer
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