Our Project

Our conference aims to bring experts in the psychedelic domain to share their knowledge and highlight the importance of these substances through various lenses. By participating in such an event, clinicians, health care providers, researchers and students with these professional options in mind will be able to acquire and deepen their knowledge about the current developments of this domain, mainly from the research and the clinical perspectives. For this sake, we have gathered high profile professors and researchers widely known in the domain for their contributions and expertise.

  • The Subject of our event

For the last decade we have been witnessing a so-called «renaissance» in the research field of psychedelic substances (including LSD, psilocybin and MDMA, amongst others). Throughout history, many traditional societies around the world have known, appreciated and worked with these compounds. However, our scientific understanding of their effects has long been neglected due to international legislation that has prohibited their use, even for research purposes. The resurgence of interest about these compounds in some parts of the world has led to important preliminary results following research in the fields of neuroscience and psychotherapy, carried out within academic and clinical communities following modern evidence-based up to date science methodology. Switzerland holds an exceptional position in the international landscape dedicated to the study of psychedelics. Today, the universities of Basel, Zurich, Fribourg and Geneva have research groups dedicated to numerous ongoing trials. Moreover, psychiatrists can apply for an exceptional use, allowing for these compounds to be used as medicines in a controlled setting, to alleviate treatment-resistant psychopathologies in specific cases. In this regard, Switzerland is unique in Europe and in the World and has a number of competent clinicians and worldwide experts in the psychotherapeutic use of psychedelics.

  • The Quality of our event

To give the best possible experience to our speakers and the public, we can count on the expertise of Lausanne Tourism to support the conference throughout the 3 days of events. The collaboration with Lausanne Tourism entails the organisation of a Gala Night for the speakers and a handful of lucky participants in the beautiful medieval building of the «Le Vieux Lausanne» restaurant on Friday night. A networking apéro in the main conference hall of the prestigious Olympic Museum is also planned for Saturday night and open to every ALPS participant!

  • The Location of our event

The location of the conference is also a place of exception. The CHUV (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois) will host our event in its prestigious auditoire de la Maternité on Friday and auditoire César-Roux for the rest of the event. The Hospital has been recently nominated as one of the best 10 hospitals in the World from a panel of doctors, administrators and medical professionals. The support and the participation of CHUV for the organisation of ALPS conference means a lot to us: knowing that we will be hosted by such a center of excellence has been a motivating factor for us to provide the best possible experience for everyone.

  • Practical Aspects

Our auditorium has a maximum capacity of 200 people due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our tickets will be sold through our crowdfunding campaign, so if you want to be sure and want to support us, we recommend getting your support ticket here for 300.- CHF.

Otherwise you will have the option of acquiring a regular (260.-) or reduced (130.-) ticket (students, invalidity insurance, unemployment) in October after the end of our crowdfunding. The number of tickets left will depend on the support we will get through our campaign.

We are aware that people vary in their financial situations. For that reason, if you would like to apply for economical support, please reach out and we’ll do our best.

  • Refund Ticket Policy (COVID-19)

In the unlikely case of a cancellation of the event due to COVID-19 restrictions or another reason, we will refund you the full ticket costs. All other contributions we will use to create this event as soon as it will be possible. In any case, Switzerland is nowadays well prepared to face another wave of pandemic and more than half of the population is vaccinated as we are writing. During the event we will strictly follow all rules of safety required by the hospital to ensure the health of all participants.

  • Postgraduate Continuous Training Credits

We are going through the process of accreditation for postgraduate continuous training for psychiatrists (SGPP / SSPP) and psychologists (FSP). We are not yet sure about how many credits the different professional institutions will be able to provide us but, given the titles and professions of our speakers, we can be coherently confident in being able to offer such credits.

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Who We Are

PALA - Psychedelics Association of Lausanne for Awareness, is the first university student association founded in Switzerland focusing on psychedelic science and vulgarisation. Coming from the fields of psychology, neuroscience and others, we are a group of volunteers dedicated to bringing awareness about the advancement of the psychedelic field through evidence-based and responsible communication.

Our goal is to raise awareness around the potential that these substances hold for mental health and for the understanding of human consciousness. It is our mission to foster the emergence of accurate evidence-based narratives around these intriguing compounds, both to facilitate a safe access to their therapeutic use and to prevent unsafe consumption.

Since our foundation two years ago, our goal has been to let people know and participate in the advancement of this area of study as we happily supported other colleagues in the foundation of similar associations in other Swiss universities

As of today, ARP - Association pour la Recherche sur les Psychédéliques de l’Université de Genève, is a psychedelic association officially recognized by the University of Geneva. Moreover, the universities of Fribourg and Neuchâtel are all about to have their own official psychedelic student groups officially recognized as well.

  • Committee Members

Federico Seragnoli - ALPS Coordinator (MSc; Psychologist FSP)

«I graduated from Lausanne University, an institution that I cherish for its values of durability, inclusiveness and participation. Writing a journal since my adolescence, I have always been intrigued by the phenomenon of human consciousness and introspection, as tools to get rid of useless human suffering. All of this got me to write a master thesis focused on metacognition and how self-conscious reflexivity can improve our quality of life. I co-founded PALA while being a student, because I wanted to create a platform to teach myself and others about psychedelics. At the moment I am engaged in research and psychotherapy with psychedelic substances. As a psychologist in my private activity I am in collaboration with various psychiatrists who obtained the legal authorisations to provide psychedelic assisted psychotherapy in Switzerland. As a researcher, I am working at Geneva University Hospital - Addictology Departement, collaborating within different lines of inquiry on the topic of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.»

Polina Ponomarenko - ALPS Organizer (BA)

«At the ALPS Conference I am in charge of the program, public relations, social media, graphic design and the booklet. I finished a bachelor degree in sport science in Berlin and worked as a licensed yoga teacher for a while around the world. I longed for a deeper understanding of the human consciousness. Which is why I am now studying psychology and neuroscience in the University of Bern and involved in PALA (as there is no student association on psychedelics in Bern… not yet!). I am also co-organising PsyKo, the Swiss national psychology student congress this year. My dream is to one day become a scientist in the psychedelic domain, which is why this conference means so much to me.»

Cyril Petignat - ALPS Organizer (BSc)

«I have been fascinated by altered states of consciousness since my teenage years. It is therefore quite natural that I discovered the fascinating properties of psychedelics on consciousness and subsequently their therapeutic potential. It was during the creation of the student association in Geneva on psychedelic research (ARP) that I met the rest of the team and got involved in the project! I’m mainly in charge of the website and advertising. Besides that I’m currently doing a master’s degree in psychology at the University of Geneva. Ideally, I would like to work in neuroscience, more specifically to study the neuro-biological effects of psychedelic substances on the brain. This conference is for me a great challenge and an opportunity to learn and share about this wonderful topic that is psychedelics !»

Adam Amrani - ALPS Organizer (BSc)

«Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Lausanne, I am currently studying for a Master’s degree in clinical psychology at the University of Fribourg. I have always been involved in university associations for causes that I consider essential. I co-founded PALA after becoming familiar with the therapeutic and scientific potential of psychedelics. In Fribourg, I participated in the foundation of another university association named PROOF - «Psychedelic Research Organization of Freiburg». As a trainee psychologist, I am elaborating a scientific study on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in Switzerland in a psychiatric research laboratory of the Freiburger Network for Mental Health (RFSM). I also participated in a symposium of the MIND Foundation as a speaker for a presentation on psychedelics related to dissociative identity disorder (DID). I wish to dedicate my master thesis to the psychedelic field and aspire to become a qualified psychotherapist.»

Johanna Blanc - ALPS Organizer (BSc)

«I am currently studying in the master’s program of clinical psychology at the University of Lausanne. During my bachelor’s degree, I had the opportunity to do a semester abroad at UC Berkeley. There, I learned about psychedelic-assisted therapy, which sparked my interest for its promising results in treating various disorders, especially as I am interested in mood and anxiety disorders. Being a member of PALA has encouraged me to deepen my knowledge of psychedelic science and consciousness and allowed me to participate in the organization of ALPS conference. At the moment, I am working on my master thesis research paper which will focus on psychedelic-assisted therapy. Moreover, I am excited to share and open the conversation on the topic by giving a presentation this year at the PsyKo conference, the Swiss national psychology student congress.»

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Why We Need Your Support

Our goal is to vulgarize the field of psychedelic science and therapeutic use among psychiatrists, psychologists, health care providers and students that are willing to foresee a professional career in this field.

Even if you are not a professional therapist or researcher and don’t want a ticket to the conference, your support will be much appreciated. With your donation you will help the therapists of this country acquire knowledge and understanding around the topic of psychedelics as a potential treatment and thus contribute to improving our health care system.

To create such an event we have to face different costs. Ranging from the technical support of CHUV and of Lausanne Tourism to the costs related to travel expenses and hosting for our 14 speakers coming mostly from Switzerland but also from Germany, France and the United States. We are also offering catering services for our public during the breaks all along the three days.

Thus, the ALPS conference project needs your help to stand the high quality promising event that it’s ambition to be. Your support is vital for this event to become reality ! Contributions can help us attain three financial thresholds with different implications for our project:

  • 26 000 CHF - The vital minimum

This amount is what we need for our event to happen. It will cover travel and hotel expenses for the speakers, technical and logistical support from the CHUV and other partners, media coverage, catering services and social activities.

  • 35 000 CHF - The comfort zone

With this amount, we will be guaranteed not to enter a deficit if unexpected costs happen. We will also be able to improve the quality of the event as well as the quality of our media coverage and post event sharing of content.

  • 45 000 CHF - Invest for the future !

If you support us up to this threshold and beyond, we will save the extra money and invest it back for the next edition of the ALPS conference (stay tuned!). Having a substantial part of the required money for another edition will only improve our will to provide it to you, while making the organization easier and smoother. We will also be able to organize workshops and parallel events opening up the collaboration to other Swiss and international institutions of our domain.

You are thinking of contributing but cannot attend the event? Do not worry! Our speaker’s interventions will all be recorded and available online after the event, free for everyone to watch, on our YouTube channel. We will be forever grateful for your contribution, so please consider donating and make this beautiful event come to life !

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