Burning Man CEO Marian Goddell attended Psychedelic Science 2023 in Denver, where she spoke with MAPS strategic initiatives officer Liana Gillooly at one of the many packed lectures.

People from all walks of life end up at Burning Man, Goddell says, citing Tesla TSLA CEOElon Musk among those who have attended.

Inclusivity is crucial, though it isn’t always an easy task, she added.

See Also: Elon Musk Calls Banning Drugs A Net Societal Negative Just Like Dumb Alcohol Prohibition

“You know, human flourishing means everybody,” Goddell said. “Healing potential is everybody… we’re all here for the love and the connection, and to have a better life.”

Burning Man, or BM, takes place in Black Rock City (BRC) — a “temporary” city built in the Black Rock Desert close to Reno, Nevada. The event attracts some 80,000 people regularly.

Goddell is certain that she can’t help change the world and bring about human flourishing by just trying to bring people to BRC.

Further, she said: “BM is 80 events around the world, and it’s happening in 35 different countries. And I’m not doing it.”

She believes this is happening because there is a real desire to help create difference in the world, human potential, social change, and just taking the opportunity to listen and breathe and frankly listen to all sides of it, and not solely endorsing the use of psychedelics.

“Because I don’t think the answers for the human race are as simple as we believe, when we believe that we’re really involved and we think that we see,” Goddell told Gillooly. “I’ve learned so much by listening. And I’ve learned so much about what I didn’t know about psychedelics,” she added.

Burning Man’s Role In The Psychedelics Renaissance

Goddell believes the way BM culture actually helps people is by encouraging them to rethink themselves, something psychedelic research is “clearly helping people to do,” she says.

“And that’s the journey. Although Rick (Doblin) has been doing this for 37 years, if you imagine a 100-year plan, we’re only in the first part of it,” Goddell said. “And we can’t rest in our laurels. I can feel that energy from heaven, and feel the same way about BM.”

About long-term survival as an organization, Goddell says questions on governance must rise. “Am I the last CEO? Is it another format needed for our organization?,” she said, adding that the way BRC is currently governed is through councils and departments, asking people “to not make many rules, ask more questions, and include more people in the table.”

But the problem for BM right now, she says, is where it is actually making change.

“I’m more interested in how burners can go out in the world and their communities and discover how they can be part of the arts council, or become elected officials, or how to organize their neighborhood together,” actions that then usually lead to revelations about how we actually really make change in society by acting together and having conversations together.

She believes all of it is part of the conversation. “I think you can attend BM once, and find ways in which to live your life more creatively, more connectedly, and you can do it in your everyday life. That’s the way in which we’re all gonna change the world, that’s what we’re here for.”

That is, in her view, the power of the culture and of religions as well: to really try to lift people up and help them be better people.

In this sense, Goddell says Psychedelic Science, MAPS, BM culture and many others are actually part of the same culture.

“I believe that human flourishing is now, the work that we need to do to change the world is now, and we’re only going to do it by looking towards others, toward affiliation and not separation, and this is the culture, the culture of change, the culture of human, the culture of life, creativity, communication, connection,” she said. “We’re in it.”

More on the conference coming your way. Stay tuned!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 Burning Man CEO Marian Goddell attended Psychedelic Science 2023 in Denver, where she spoke with MAPS strategic initiatives officer Lia  Read More