MA Spiritual Care | Lead Facilitator, Director of Ethics and Advocacy
Daan holds an MA in Spiritual Care and is the co-founder of Guild of Guides Netherlands: an organisation that seeks to professionalize psychedelic sitting services. His experience with guiding and caring for people in altered states of consciousness spans over a decade; ranging from psychedelic harm reduction work on festivals to his private practice as a Psychedelic Chaplain.
Daan draws from his personal Buddhist practices, psychedelic research and his professional experiences to create compassionate and powerful containers for personal and relational transformation. As an avid explorer of consciousness, he is highly capable of supporting others who are traversing the landscapes of the mind.
For more than three decades James has studied many of the world's perennial philosophies and engaged fully in a number of the great wisdom traditions, with specific interest in non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Trained formally in integral coaching and working with trauma and addiction, he is experienced at tracking tension and points of change and growth in individuals and groups. This unique experience allows him to fully understand the role of psychedelics and entheogen’s as a catalyst for authentic transformation.
For more than 15 years, Jessica Grotfeldt has dedicated herself to providing safe, effective, and meaningful access to mind/body healing and psychedelic therapies. Growing up in the border state of Texas (USA), she fell in love with the rich culture and traditions of Mexico. After her father was diagnosed with cancer, she began to study the use of healing plants and energy medicine among the local Mexican “curanderos” in her region. Her research into integrative therapies to complement western medical interventions led to a master’s degree in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and a thriving practice in New York City.
Jessica’s research into ancient and shamanic healing practices led her to the mountains of Ecuador. Deep in the Andes, she experienced a profound personal transformation as she dedicated herself to learning the ways of holding space for ceremonies using master plants, the four cardinal directions/the four elements, the temazcal (sweatlodge) as well as traditional medicine music Her dedication to this path led her to return to her roots in Mexico to work with the ceremonial traditions of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. She currently works as a guide and a retreat organizer creating unique and beautiful experiences with deep respect and gratitude for the traditions that have transformed and enriched her life. As a member of the facilitation team at Synthesis Jessica is thrilled to connect the benefits of modern science and ancient wisdom as a tool of positive change in this ever-changing world.
BSc. Psychobiology | Co-Lead Facilitator & Breathwork Coach
Sven has a background in Psychobiology & Supplement Development. After his studies, he went on a path of exploring science-based methods for self-healing. He became a Wim Hof Method Instructor, a Breathwork Facilitator and started studying Psychedelics for transformational healing.
He emphatically empowers others to step out of their comfort zones and supports them in exploring their inner landscapes. His aim is to research and apply psychedelics and breathwork, to catalyze personal growth, insight & human connection.
Hanneke began working with psychedelics in 2012. She discovered the healing potential of psychedelics in combination with ceremonial practices after spending time in the Guatemalan jungle where she studied the Mayan culture, herbal medicine, and Shamanism. After this beautiful and intense experience, Hanneke decided to combine her own intuitive skills with psychedelics and lifestyle coaching. Since then she has been working with individuals and groups as a coach and retreat facilitator using plant medicines, bodywork, and mindfulness practices to nurture alignment and synchronization.
Odin is a Dutch-American, born and bred in Amsterdam. For the past decade, he has worked as a cinematographer after earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Dutch Film Academy.
For the past few years, he has been on a path of self-exploration, self-development, healing, and trauma processing. He has been exploring different modalities and methods like tai-chi, reiki, the healing properties of psychedelics like ayahuasca and psilocybin-containing truffles, meditation and different forms of movement practices. He's recently completed a 2-year intensive course as a certified AuraTouch practitioner.
Wellness Operations Manager
Former Motorola Ltd Commercial Director Europe Middle East and Africa. Maria left the corporate world in 2009 on a two year sabbatical which led her to study Arabic in Yemen, play polo in Argentina and launch her first start-up JAM Language. During the decade that followed, Maria lived in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Jordan, Yemen, Spain, Argentina and Brazil where she co-founded the events company SPNM.
Afterwards she embraced a minimalist lifestyle as a digital nomad chasing the summer between Europe and South America. This period led her down a road of self discovery which included living in Osho meditation communities in Germany and in Uruguay, attending Humaniversity and getting certified as a Human Potential Coach. Coaching in the areas of Wellness, Performance and Lifestyle.
Retreat Support and Retreat Assistant
MSc. | Health Screening Manager
David's research has been focused on set and setting factors such as the role of music and the effects of different social and physical contexts on the psychedelic experience, a collaborative project with Imperial College and the Psychedelic Survey.
At Synthesis he performs exploration calls and is a member of the health screening team, utilizing his expertise in helping determine if people should come attend the retreat. David is particularly fascinated by visionary experiences and cognitive changes from psychedelic experiences, as well as finding the right therapeutic approach to work alongside psychedelics.
MSc. Behavioral Science | Health Screening Specialist
Floor is a behavioral scientist that graduated from Radboud University. She specialized in Affective Neuroscience and Experimental Psychopathology & Treatment. Furthermore, her background lays in interdisciplinary research, behavioral change, and bias in decision making.
As a member of the health screening team at Synthesis, her focus lays in the wellbeing and safety of people attending the retreat. Her main interests are optimizing mental health and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
Interim Director of Human Resources
Arin has a background in business, hospitality, leadership development and yogic philosophy, and has spent most of her career as a startup Founder working on projects to scale healing and transformative experiences.
She is a Reiki Master Teacher, and certified integrative psychosomatic coach with special concentration in Tantra, relationships and sexuality. She believes business can be a powerful vehicle for healing and helping, and that starts with the heart of business: its people and leaders.
Her journey with Psychedelics began in Peru's Sacred Valley, and she is passionate about bringing more integration, balance and enjoyment to the world journey through embodiment and self-discovery.
Ethan is the financial controller at Synthesis. Over the past 15 years, he has worked in the private sector managing community-based projects for start-ups, state and federal government projects in the U.S. Ethan is especially passionate about conscious organizational strategy in the psychedelic space, financial modeling and providing data-driven insights to inform strategic, financial, and operational decision-making across the company.
Lucy has over 15 years experience working in mental health, her career began working in psychiatric hospitals. In more recent years, Lucy founded an international organisation that for 10 years has sent over 8000 aspiring mental health practitioners across the world to support and learn from local organisations committed to improving the mental wellbeing of their communities.
Being exposed to various cultures' different mental health treatments ignited Lucy’s passion for exploring alternative medicines, which led to her interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
Lucy finds clarity and grounding from her yoga and meditation practice and is deeply grateful for her personal experiences working with plant medicines.
Director of Customer Journey
Atticus has worked at tech, design and fashion start-ups for most of his career. But after 10 years of climbing the corporate ladder he was facing recurrent cluster headaches, addiction and burnout. A pivotal moment led him to psychedelic healing, which changed everything. After this, he knew transformation was not only possible, but deeply powerful.
At Synthesis, Atticus contributes toward the healing of others through his skills in communication and technology. When he's not working you'll find him training to be a mindfulness coach, playing with kettlebells, and spending time with his daughters.
MA | Content Marketing Specialist
Jess has worked in many marketing and writing positions in the arts, architecture, tech and luxury global FMCG brands over the last five years.
Jess is happy to work for a conscious startup that contributes to social good. She brings inspiring editorial about the science and stories of psychedelics to our curious audience on the website, email newsletter, social media channels and more.
With a passion for the integration of science in the arts, Jess received a first-class honours degree and a writing award in History of Art, and earned a Masters in Design, Culture and Society. In her free time, she’s runs the Bioart foundation called Unbore Collective, and loves exploring galleries and museums.
BSc. Accounting | Financial Accountant
Chris has spent his career at many firms performing multiple roles over the last 5 years including EY and Morgan Stanley. He holds multiple accounting degrees and honours in South Africa, with eligibility to register as a Chartered Accountant. He also started his own small business and is a highly entrepreneurial thinker.
Chris is passionate about improving the well-being of fellow man and the advancement of consciousness. He is excited to see the benefits of safely introduced psychedelics into a new world and is committed to help create a more connected future. When not accounting he is an avid movement enthusiast and spends his spare time building a mind body awareness through gymnastics, yoga, meditation and breathwork.
Executive Operations Administrator
Angela was born in Southern California, but her soul accompanies her roots in Mexico. She Is a 1st generation in the U.S on her father's side, and 2nd generation on my mother's side. Herb and plant medicine are a part of her ancestry. Two of Angela's grandmothers were and still are medicine women of her hometown in Mexico, and they continuously guide Angela to realizing the innate power of nature and ourselves. Because of her family, Angela knows we are our own healers. Besides being an exceptionally organized woman with project management skills, she is also a writer. At nine years old, she began to write and never really stopped. Anglea is soon to publish her first book: WHERE SILENCE ENDS. A non-fiction memoir written together with her mother — following her mother's life and the sexual, physical, and mental abuse she and many in the family endured at the hands of her own father. It is a story of generational trauma as much as it is about generational healing. Angela aims to write beautiful stories that will open up minds and expand worlds, including her own.
Maya is an operations specialist and writer, bringing a thoughtful presence to all of her work and business practices. She is grateful to dedicate all of her professional energy to the psychedelic ecosystem, and aims to help propagate a collaborative and cohesive state of being for this global community. She has authored a compressive analytical report on the business of psychedelics, and is now co-authoring the book, Our Trip Together.
Having co-founded the annual psychedelic conference, Psyched, Maya continues her pursuit to strengthen the community through the open-source sharing of knowledge and interdisciplinary networking. She has consulted for, and worked with, a number of other organizations in the space, including Heroic Hearts and Tabula Rasa Ventures.
As a Product Manager for Synthesis, Maya supports each department to achieve their specific goals through tech integration and project oversight.
Born and raised in California, Emily is excited to be part of the growing US team at Synthesis. Her passion for connecting people with opportunities for personal growth carries through in her work as part of the Synthesis customer support team.
Emily brings nearly a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry, primarily from her role as director for a series of successful yoga and wellness studios in the Bay Area. During her career, she's had the privilege of witnessing many transformative moments, which inspires her daily to continue advocating for new mental health treatments and increased access to care.
She is honored to be working alongside passionate people toward the mission of empowering others to tap into their ability to heal and experience life in a more intimate way.
After graduating from university, Jorden worked as a data analyst for brands in fashion and technology. He combines an analytical brain with a big heart and fast working senses with intuition. He had a life changing insight while spending time in the Amazon and Asian forests, where he suddenly understood ‘there must be another way’. This mantra continues to help him on a path towards bringing higher levels of awareness to the world. He’s learned to embrace physical conditions like eczema, stomach aches and fatigue as teachers on his path, and finds his healing through Shamanic practices, Animism, and Zen buddhism.
Yet his biggest teachers are his three young children, who he loves to hang out with at the playgrounds, in the forests and at the lakes near his house.
Ph.D | Director of Education
Rachel’s background in the arts and education, and lifelong interest in expanding awareness, led her to a doctoral inquiry that explored the myriad processes at work in transformative learning experiences. She developed a rich understanding of the interplay between the variety of ways we come to know and relate to ourselves, others, and the world through the extrarational dimensions of emotion, imagination, intuitive and embodied knowing.
Rachel is a trained wilderness rite-of-passage guide, helping people reconnect to their own wild nature through ceremony and intentional contemplative journeying in the natural environment. She has an abiding love and respect for psilocybin containing mushrooms as guides and teachers, and for revealing the deeper truth of our connection to our beloved Earth and all beings.
Ph.D | Research Assistant
Sam is a lifelong nature lover with a background and PhD in ecology. He is a writer, researcher and speaker, and has experience working within the psychedelic field, as a past scientific assistant to the director of the Beckley Foundation, and formerly working as an ecopsychology coordinator with Synthesis helping develop a nature-based program.
He is an external collaborator with the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, where his research is focussed on the capacity of psychedelics to influence our connection to nature. He has published numerous papers on this topic, making the case for the inclusion of more nature-based content, settings and practices into psychedelic care. Aside from these activities, Sam enjoys delivering the occasional workshop teaching people how to grow their own lion’s mane fungi.
Sam draws on his varied research experience in his current role at Synthesis by contributing content to the Psychedelic Practitioner Training programme.
Ph.D | Learning Mentor
Adrian is an ecopsychologist and embodiment theorist. He has devoted his life to facilitating nature connection, drawing on spirituality, art, activism and academia. His PhD explored embodied knowing in Eco-Paganism and his MSc researched psychotherapy in nature. He subsequently trained in Experiential Focusing, a powerful bodymind approach to embodied wisdom.
Adrian has published work on ecotherapy, mindfulness, embodied knowing, and the power of place. He is Lead Editor of the European Journal of Ecopsychology. Adrian integrates ancient spiritual traditions with the latest research in ecopsychology to enrich and deepen our psychedelic journeys.
BSc Psychology MBPsS | Learning Mentor
Philip is a writer working with psychosynthesis, sophrology and mindfulness. After taking his psychology degree at UCL, he undertook Jungian analysis and training at The Institute of Psychosynthesis, and later with the Sophrology Center. He is the founder of The Sophrology Institute, a non-executive director of the Institute of Psychosynthesis, and a member of the Advisory Circle for the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at George Washington University. His particular interests include the spiritual tradition of Druidry, and working with ways to integrate sophrology into coaching and psychotherapeutic practice.
PhD | Director of Research
Pedro is Full Professor at the University of Lisbon (FMH) where he leads a vibrant research group on the topic of health behavior change. He holds a MSc in Exercise Science and a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and he is a past-president of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Until 2019, he was the director of the National Physical Activity Promotion Program, at the Portuguese Ministry of Health (DGS).
His main research interest is the study of determinants and interventions in the area of physical activity and healthy eating. He has published over 100 international peer-reviewed articles and has been an investigator in several NIH and EU projects, including Eurobese, SPOTLIGHT, EuroFIT, and NoHow.
MSc. Cognitive Neuroscience | Researcher & Health Screener
Maria holds a master degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and has a background in molecular biology. She carried out research investigating the immune system, the role of neurotransmitters in the brain, and emotional processes in people with ADHD.
Maria has entered a path of self-exploration through meditation and the study of Eastern religions and philosophies. Her passion for psychedelics developed together with her scientific curiosity towards the mysteries of the brain. She sees her own psychedelic experiences as life-changing and hopes for a world where science and spirituality can come together for the awakening of human consciousness.
She is in love with nature and spent the last year fighting climate change both as activist and educator. As part of the medical screening team, Maria carries out scientific research with the aim of improving the physical and mental health of people joining the Synthesis retreat.
Co-Founder & Chief Visionary Officer
Martijn has driven the vision of Synthesis Institute since he co-founded the company in 2018. As CEO for two years - and now as Chief Visionary Officer - he has stewarded Synthesis through the early concept to maturity with the vision of making psychedelic tools accessible in a safe, legal, and modern context. Under Martijn's leadership, Synthesis has heralded a world-class, professional standard for psychedelic wellness and mental health.
Having previously co-founded HighExistence and Apotheosis, Martijn is an experienced entrepreneur in the wellness and transformative space. As a writer, speaker and interviewer on psychedelic subject matter, he was one of the first in the space to anticipate the microdosing revolution in early 2014.
Applying his academic background in interdisciplinary science and philosophy, his work and identity as an entrepreneur is strongly influenced by eco-phenomenological thought, and by his decade-long personal practice with Buddhism and Shamanism. He is currently focused on scaling opportunities for flourishing, well-being, and transformation through the synthesis of contemplative practices, immersive technology, and psychedelics.
Co-Founder & Director of Business Development
Myles has spent his career on three different continents launching or leading VC-funded startups with technological, socially responsible, and green initiatives.
He has a strong belief that business and capitalism, when incentivized correctly, can be the most powerful tools we have to make positive, sustainable change in our modern society, and is excited to bring his experience to the psychedelic movement.
Specifically with Synthesis, Myles looks forward to developing an impact-focused business model that increases access to safe, legal and professionally-guided psychedelic experiences and sets an example for what a psychedelic-integrated future can look like.
PhDc. | Chief Executive Officer
Rachel is a serial entrepreneur, conscious business and leadership coach, speaker, and conscious social change facilitator with nearly 20 years of experience working with clients across the U.S., Europe and East Africa.
In addition to her passion for conscious business and leadership, Rachel is focused on the transformation of trauma into action and leadership. Her practice includes a variety of modalities integrating body, breath, meditation, and creative arts-based practices.
Rachel holds a B.A. in Transformative Education & Leadership and a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health and Mindful-Trauma Informed Leadership. Rachel is currently working on her PhD in Integral/Transpersonal Psychology.
Advisory Board Member
Robin is the Head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research, in the Department of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, where he has designed a number of functional brain imaging studies with psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, MDMA (ecstasy) and DMT (ayahuasca), plus clinical trials of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. His scientific contributions to psychedelic-assisted therapy could play a significant role in the future of psychedelics for mental health care.
Robin states that scientific investigation into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is vital for combating the mental health crisis. As a partner with the center, scientific research shows that the Synthesis experience was found to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve sense of wellbeing and emotional stability, and increase connection to self, others and nature. Legal, professionally-organised retreats like Synthesis can be a safe way for people to experience the transformational potential of psychedelics, and they can also be a great source of data for research, helping to further advance the field. Robin is excited to continue working alongside Synthesis to provide high-quality services and meaningful scientific research for the psychedelic community.
Advisory Board Member
Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist based in San Francisco. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines (http://chacruna.net). She is Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is also co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil and Diversity, Culture and Ethics Advisor at the Synthesis Institute. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-one books, two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles.
Advisory Board Member
Tero is the CEO and Founder of Four Sigmatic, a global superfood company helping people to elevate their wellness with adaptogenic mushroom ingredients. He is also the author of two best-selling books Healing Mushrooms and Santa Sold Shrooms.
A respected expert in the industry, Tero speaks at various events and was chosen twice as one of the world’s Top 50 Food Activists. Tero believes that professional, legal and modern contexts like Synthesis are making psychedelic experiences more accessible to help people gain the benefits of greater connection, personal healing and meaningful insights from a single dose.
Advisory Board Member
Tura builds upon her background in business development in leading the cultivation and management of strategic relationships for Usona Institute. Tura engages directly in identifying and fostering key relationships with research collaborators, donors and regulatory partners to ensure streamlined and well-managed alignment with Usona’s clinical program goals as well as new drug discovery and research initiatives.
Prior to Usona, Tura worked as a business development consultant with specialization in strategic planning, development of new markets and services, sustainable design and global engagement for high-technology, non-profit, academic and professional service organizations. Within that role, Tura applied her expertise in facilitation, creative thinking, and organizational development to position clients through innovative partnerships and new collaboration opportunities.
Tura has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in International Economic and Commercial Relations and Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is an LEED Accredited Professional.
Advisory Board Member
Bennet A. Zelner, PhD, researches, teaches, and advises on regenerative economics,
the delivery of psychedelic-assisted mental healthcare, and institutional change. He
serves as Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith
School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also co-founder of
a new organization, the Transformative Capital Institute, that funds and collaborates on
projects supporting the emergence of regenerative communities and the production of
well-being. Bennet is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars, and his article
on the “Pollination Approach” to delivering psychedelic-assisted mental healthcare
appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of the MAPS Bulletin. Bennet serves in an advisory
role for Usona Institute, the Synthesis Institute, Sage Integrative Health, the Brooklyn
Psychedelic Society, Virgils.io, and Psychedelic.Support. He received his bachelor’s
degree from Brown University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.
Advisory Board Member
Rosalind worked at Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research.
Rosalind has developed a psychedelic research model ‘Accept, Connect, Embody’, and a psychometric measure of ‘connectedness’ which her qualitative research identified as a mechanism of therapeutic change in psychedelic approaches. Collecting data from our participants, her research has recognised consistently positive outcomes for people attending Synthesis retreats. Rosalind will use her expertise to optimise the Synthesis retreat model, continue scientific research and develop a model to help more people with mental illnesses in the future.