The Shadows You Won't Face: A Juneteenth Reflection on Race & Psychedelics by Sara Reed, M.S., L.M.F.T.
North Star serves the ethical community committed to delivering psychedelic healing to the world with integrity. Join the community by taking the North Star Ethics Pledge.
About North Star
Psychedelics present unprecedented ethical considerations for people and organizations throughout the chain of care.
Psychedelics have entered a commercial phase. Capitalism is an unparalleled lever for scale that has also led to inequality, corporate irresponsibility and unsustainable extraction.
Set & Setting
"Business as usual" centers maximizing profit above integrity and ethics. Together we can create a better "set and setting" for the mainstreaming of psychedelics.
The Business of Consciousness
For example: how does maximizing shareholder returns and science of persuasion pair with the suggestibility of a patient in psychedelic treatment?
Given the history of psychedelics, mistakes that lead to mistreatment or harm, whether by irresponsible action or accident, could have catastrophic implications for the field.
People and organizations in the field have a responsibility to ensure ethical action. We should make plans to mitigate risk and answer key questions about our approach.
Uncharted Territory
Capitalism has never intersected with something like psychedelics. Integrating them into society must be done with intention and care.
No Margin For Error
Regardless of motivation, everyone stands to gain from the ethical delivery of psychedelic healing. If the opposite occurs, everyone stands to lose.
We can build a future where psychedelic healing relieves human suffering and enables human flourishing. Stewarding the ethical delivery of these medicines is in service of the healing potential that psychedelics have.
People and organizations across the field of psychedelics can commit to an ethical approach that centers patient well-being.
Hippocratic Oath For Psychedelic Business
The North Star Ethics Pledge, co-created with stakeholders across the movement, is a baseline commitment to acting with integrity to ensure the collective progress.
A Historic Opportunity
We can meet this historic opportunity with an approach that goes beyond business as usual. Too much is at stake to do otherwise. This is the work of North Star.
North Star Ethics Pledge
Join the community of people and organizations committed to delivering psychedelic healing to the world with integrity.
Taking the pledge provides access to resources and tools, shared learning, North Star gatherings and a values-aligned network across the wide field of psychedelics.
Our team is comprised of psychedelic advocates representing different coalitions in the field, including a clinician, facilitator and trained sitter, a drug policy activist, an investor, a business operations specialist, and an artist and storyteller.
North Star Team
North Star's goal is to support an ecosystem of heart-led, highly effective organizations advancing safe, legal, and affordable psychedelic medicine with an ethics-first, patient-focused approach.
North Star Team
Kat brings over 15 years of experience helping individuals and organizations address problematic interpersonal dynamics and create new ways of being and relating that lead to enhanced creativity, productivity and meaningful collaboration for all. Kat is a practicing psychotherapist and served on the board of Threshold Foundation.
Executive Director,
Auryn Project
North Star Founder, Development Officer, MAPS
Chief Operations Officer,
Auryn Project
Treasurer of the Board,
Auryn Project
Creative Director,
Auryn Project
Liana Sananda Gillooly is a lifetime activist for social justice, drug policy reform, ending war, and the environment. She is currently a Development Officer at MAPS. Liana has lobbied Congress, lectured MBA students, and given a TedX talk. She is an experienced meditator and trained death midwife.
Shirelle Noble is a systems-thinker who brings over 10 years of strategy, operations, and management experience. Formerly a consultant at Bain & Company, she led and scaled global teams in rapid growth environments. She is a practitioner of Hatha yoga and meditation and Zendo-trained peer support sitter.
Tim Chang is a Partner at Mayfield Fund, investing in next-gen Commerce & Marketplaces, Communities, Health & Wellness and Digital Media. Mayfield Fund has no commercial interest in Cannabis or Psychedelics. Tim is an accomplished musician who performs with bands, and is passionate about leveraging technology and wisdom to boost consciousness and wellness across body, mind and spirit.
Dave McGaughey is an artist, storyteller and designer. He is a founding member of Auryn Project, the author of We Will Call It Pala, and designed the website for Sage Integrative Health. Dave came to psychedelics from natural foods. He has made kombucha commercially or personally for ten years. Dave holds a B.A. with Honors in Gender Studies.
Co-Created with Auryn Project
North Star is supported by Auryn Project, a 501(c)(3) incubator and accelerator for change-making organizations across the psychedelic field making a more just and equitable world.
Everything North Star has done is rooted in community accountability and a never-ending process of inclusive stakeholding. The Ethics Pledge was created with the input of more than one hundred stakeholders across the field. The process was imperfect. The pledge is imperfect. Depending on their perspective, people will find it flawed for different reasons.
North Star's approach is to seek feedback and work continuously to improve. North Star invites ongoing critical input and dialogue on the pledge, and on the practical considerations around what acting with integrity should look like on an individual and organizational level. Click here to share ideas and feedback on the pledge.
Auryn Project, North Star's parent non-profit, published We Will Call It Pala, a story exploring a potential future for the commercial phase of psychedelics. This story helps inform North Star's work.
We Will Call It Pala
A Movement of Values
The field of psychedelics is a "big tent" coalition of people and organizations with varying motivations and incentives.
Yet the imperative of integrity unites everyone, for collective healing, organizational achievement and individual gain all hinge on the success of the movement as a whole.
Stay Connected
North Star Ethics Pledge is a step in the process of centering integrity in the emerging field of psychedelics. Enter your email to stay up to date on the pledge, resource development, and the North Star community.
Pledge Creation Process
The North Star team came together after the publishing of We Will Call It Pala. Each of us saw a need to raise a critical dialogue around integrity in the commercialization of psychedelics. We shared a concern that moneyed interests were going to not only take power, but control the conversation. We believed there could be a better way.

That began a six month process of community dialogue. It started with a dinner with twenty of the elders we respect and admire most, asking questions around their hopes and fears for this moment in psychedelics, and what they'd like to see done. Similar dinners happened with clinicians and therapists, asking for their perspectives on commercialization and what would support them in this time, and investors oriented around impact. Here a concern was raised of a "nuclear arms race" effect, where unethical actors would have a competitive advantage to seize power, rapidly scale and control the narrative.

During this time gathering perspective, the North Star team was distilling the feedback into categories, the basis for the principles, and researching other examples of ethics commitments across industries and time. From that point forward the pledge went through four drafts, with one on one feedback with dozens and dozens of stakeholders representing different coalitions in the field.

The principles in the pledge, and the possible actions, are generated by the community. We see our role at North Star as stewarding this process, soliciting perspectives, opinions, concerns, considerations and feedback. This is reflected in the framing of the pledge - it is participatory, not prescriptive. It doesn't tell anyone how they have to behave. It invites people into a dialogue with themselves and others around what it means to put integrity at the heart of their work in the field. The hope for the pledge is that it helps people step into their own power in culture shaping, and serves as the foundation of a community that can take an ethics-first, patient-focused approach to safely scaling psychedelic healing.

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