Resilience and sustainable change

Understanding the many systemic problems (mental health crisis, climate and eco systemic crises, political and societal crisis, etc.) that humankind faces today as consequences of individual human decisions, and understanding human decisions as consequences of human states of consciousness points to the need to investigate this causal relationship.


This Research describes a series of studies aiming to investigate transformational processes and the impact of pharmacologically altered states of co nsciousness on everyday self perception and decision taking of individuals.



The first study with long term meditators has the objective to understand how pharmacologically altered states of consciousness influence the consciousness work of experienced meditators. Furthermore, it will allow the establishment of a sophisticated catalogue of states of consciousness and elements like mindfulness and compassion, which may influence concrete decisions in the real world.


The second study with healthy high functioning individuals (active at decisional leadership roles within organisations, such as companies or large institutions) aims then to evaluate in which states of consciousness (using the catalogue established during the first study with meditators) the same pharmacological intervention may result. A long term follow up from a management scholar perspective regarding participantparticipant’s self perception and organisational decision taking as consequence of this pharmacologically induced transformation of consciou sness ( mindfulness and compassion) should point towards impact on organisational management and structural changes as vectors of systemic organisational change.


The central question of both studies is to invest igate the effects of altered states of consciousness induced by N,N DMT and harmine to promote sustainable personal change in decision taking and behaviour The second comparative question is regarding the difference in the effects of N,N DMT and harmine and long term experience of meditation. Healthy high functioning individuals with no meditation  experiences are hypothesized to experience a similar personal transformation of consciousness and bahaviour as long term meditators.


Investigating consciousness transformation and behavioural change as a first step towards societal transformation, the results of these studies may indicate vectors of sustainable and systemic change in economy and society through conscious human decision making.


Resilience and sustainable change: Creating scientific evidence for psychedelic

promoted resilience and sustainable change processes in highly functional

individuals and investigating the impact on organisational decision making


Principal Investigator

Milan Scheidegger, MD, PhD



Prof. Dr. med. Erich Seifritz, Director, PUK Zurich



University Zurich, Prof. Milan Scheidegger, Psychedelic Research Therapy Development, University

Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, Switzerland

IMD Business School, Prof. Julia Binder, Department of Sustainable Innovation and Business Transformation Lausanne, Switzerland


Background and Motivation


Challenges and setbacks accompany highly functional individuals throughout their entire private and professional lives because of the thought patterns that evolved in their minds for so many years. This affects su stainable decision making for their organizations and for the society as a whole. How can a highly functional leader identify habitual patterns that became maladaptive and disconnected over time in a more embodied and experiential way? How to access the main drivers behind human behavior with more clarity, understanding and acceptance? There are many ways. Usually it takes years, decades or even a lifetime for the most important realizations.

We hypothesize reliable awareness enhancing psychedelics to be highly effective to support psychological fitness. With this study we aim to create scientific evidence for psychedelic promoted resilience and sustainable change processes in highly functional individuals. Through the collaboration with the IMD Business School we aim especially to investigate the impact on organisational decision making.




The goal of the study is to provide a scientifically monitored experience applying N,N DMT and harmine (active compounds in ayahuasca) and thereby to create scientific evidence for psychedelic promoted change processes ( resilience, sustainab le behavior and institutional change management) in healthy high functioning individuals (long term meditators high functioning individuals, such as business leaders) beyond psychiatric conditions. The setting for this shall be a retreat type setting (Montagne Alternative or Felsentor Meditation Center), with adjacent programmes around mindfulness, sustainable leadership and regenerative economy.




In combining two first person approaches such as ( micro phenomenological interviews and ( the recruitment of highly functional individuals, we aim at maximizing the reliability an d precision of experiential reports ECG as well as biofeedback recordings.

The scientific outcomes will be presented in publications in psychology, management and leadership research journals as well as presented at scientific and business related conf erences. Besides that, a documentary promotional movie will be created for the broad audience that will enable to increase the

outreach of the study outcomes along with increasing the visibility of the related institutions and funding partners.

To asses s the mid to long term effects of the intervention on the organizational decision making of highly functional individuals, we apply the Experience Sampling Method ( which is an innovative structured diary technique that allows to study changes in thoughts, feelings, and subsequently behaviour on several occasions over time. The advantage is that participants report their feelings and decisions in real time (or shortly thereafter), which increases the validity of the observations.