“I can talk about it for a long time. It is one of the deepest, most emotional experiences I have ever had.”
- Astronaut Gene Cernan – The Overview Effect, by Frank White (2014)
Astronaut Gene Cernan
Astronaut Sultan Bin Salaman al-Saud
Projects pursued by The Overview Institute of Australia are made possible by Core members and volunteer contributors.
O.I.A. Founder and Director Richard Whitehurst has been immersed in contemplating the imagery and video footage of the Earth from space since these were first made available through the various space agencies in the 1960’s. An enhancement of this intense fascination occurred when he acquired Kevin W. Kelly’s beautiful book: The Home Planet - released in 1988. A chord was struck as he saw the awe-inspiring images and read the statements of astronauts and cosmonauts about their life-changing experiences induced by looking back at the Earth from their utterly new vantage point – the planetary overview.
His eventual exposure to Frank White’s landmark book – The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution – served as a powerful catalyst to create something tangible that might foster a deeper awareness and understanding of the realities of our contextual circumstance ... as one human family bound together within, and as part of, the thin and fragile film of the Earth’s biosphere.
Richard has also been equally absorbed in the study of consciousness and altered states since undergoing a powerful transpersonal experience in June of 1970. From that juncture he spent eight years as a Vedic monk, much of that time traveling throughout the Indian subcontinent. In 1979 he married, raised a family and eventually settled in Australia in 1990. His professional studies in Ericksonian psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis unfolded throughout the 1990’s.
His extensive experience, both in teaching awareness-enhancing processes and in presenting visionary topics through public speaking events, has well prepared him to pursue the transformational work, goals and visions of The Overview Institute of Australia, and its sister organization: Richard is also an advisory board member for Boomerang Aerospace, a research and development company in Queensland, Australia. He is also a member of the Guardianship Council of 'Be The Change' - the Australian arm of the Pachamama Alliance.
Jimmy Hirst is a passionate, self-professed social entrepreneur and social engineer actively working in advocating for and helping transition the mainstream population to that of more sustainable, regenerative & socially connective communities (also referred to as "Eco Villages") to help improve quality of life for all people as well as helping reduce impact on the planet so that it may be enjoyed 4 generations to come.
Jimmy has had a highly awarded, celebrated and influential career and background in the music & media and innovation & technology industries (pre- and post-Internet) spanning over thirty years which has transformed generations, by socially collaborating and working with successful teams who have changed the way people live.
He launched the polkadot • tiny houses brand - - to build affordable Eco Smart Tiny Houses On Wheels for the mainstream offering more affordable, locally-made housing, off-the-grid, renewable and recycled, climatically efficient, intelligent, Internet and Blockchain-enabled, attractive, economical, easily transportable, safe and secure as well as innovative, smartly engineered dwellings designed to easily plug into holistically integrative and regenerative communities. This is connected to the polkadot community inc assoc to help advocate, facilitate and build future housing models, one being “mobile eco parks”, through demonstrable public seminars and festivals.
He spent over six years of his life travelling around the globe to the USA, UK & Europe and Africa to research intentional communities and connecting with thought leaders through organisations like the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Intl Communal Studies Assoc (ICSA), Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA), NextNow (Silicon Valley), living in world-renowned villages such as the Findhorn (Scotland), Christiania (Denmark), Tamera Healing Biotope (Portugal) and locally The Eco Village at Currumbin, and is a member of many community groups.
Ricky Probst has degrees in Political Science, International Relations, and Psychology - and works as a Psychotherapist and Mindfulness instructor on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. From a variety of perspectives he has become keenly aware of the challenges that are currently faced by humanity and the planetary biosphere, and has been exploring alternatives that can be initiated by shifts toward what is often termed 'unity consciousness'. He has been deeply influenced by the works of C G Jung, Joseph Campbell, Dogen, Mooji, Lao Tsu, Teilhard de Chardin, Robert Lanza, and Paul Levy.
Ricky has been a practitioner of Advaita, Zen, Taoism and Western Gnosticism for over a decade. He was first introduced to The Overview Effect by O.I.A Founder Richard Whitehurst and is an advocate for the profound impact it can have on raising human consciousness.
Advisory Board Members
Frank White is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a Rhodes Scholar. He earned his M.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University. Frank is a communications professional who has worked in most forms of media and in disciplines ranging from journalism to public relations. He is the author or co-author of 10 books on topics ranging from space exploration to climate change. His book, The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, is now in its third edition, and is considered by many to be a seminal work in the field of space exploration and development. A film called “Overview,” based largely on his work, has had more than 7 million plays on Vimeo. Frank is also a co-founder of the Overview Institute a leading organization dedicated to analyzing the Overview Effect and disseminating its findings.
David is the initiator and co-founder of The Overview Institute ~ www.overviewinstitute.org ~ the world’s first organization dedicated to researching and educating about the Overview Effect; the commonly used term in the space field that describes the psychological and sociological impact of spaceflight on mind and society. The Institute is composed of 22 renowned leaders in the areas of space, cognitive science and simulation media.
Since 2006, David has produced or co-produced 7 national conference events on the Overview Effect. In December 2012, Harvard premiered “Overview,” a 19 min. Documentary on the Overview Effect and the work of the Institute. Released on line, it has now been viewed 8M times and led to two more Harvard conferences and one at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian.
David studied nuclear engineering and physics at The University of Virginia, and the psychology and sociology of perception, and the philosophy of science at The University of Richmond. For the last forty years he has researched the cognitive underpinnings of human perception, with a special focus on the interaction of media images with the mind.
He has received three US and multiple international patents for the invention of The Magic Stage, the first virtual commercial reality theatre technology. He continues to write about the relationship of his research to multiple fields, including the Overview Effect. He has lectured on his research at six major university graduate schools in the cognitive science of perception, design, psychology, film, drama and virtual reality, including two seminars at the Duke University Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.
Kevin W. Kelley
Artist, entrepreneur, and author of the NY Times and international best-selling books The Home Planet (1988), and Embracing Earth: New Views of our Changing Planet (1991), is now creating Infinitaas™ - a new paradigm for visualizing and exploring Big History and Earth Systems Science.
The Home Planet is a large format book of stunning photographs of Earth taken from space, accompanied by quotations from astronauts and cosmonauts reflecting on the profound effect of experiencing Earth from the perspective of space. Over 600,000 copies of the book have been printed and distributed worldwide in 11 languages, and it remains the largest co-publishing venture between American and Russian publishers.
Embracing Earth, New Views of Our Changing Planet, co-authored with Payson Stevens, was the first book to present an integral perspective of the earth's five interconnected systems: the geosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, the chryosphere and the biosphere. It was Chronicle Books’ lead volume in the fall of 1992.
After a period of running World Perspectives, a company providing images of space and the planet to the publishing and advertising industries, Kevin became involved with a number of start up companies, including one he co-founded intended to put the first Earth-looking TV camera into orbit.
In 2009, with partner Rachel Bagby, Kevin co-founded Metanoiaa™, a design and production organization. Metanoiaa's breakthrough visualization technologies, social media, and artistic civic engagement strategies are designed to:
• Show audiences our place within time, space, and the unfolding processes of our cosmos
• Create collaborative understanding, conversation and capacity through social media
• Engage people through an ecological and earth-systems literacy program to take wise action towards developing global civilizations
capable of truly flourishing
• Help guide the successful transformation of human society in an era of rapid world change
Kevin is also a founding member of The Overview Institute USA. His website is:
Ernest L. Rossi. PhD
Ernest Rossi, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and expert on creativity and mindbody healing. He is the author of 36 books and over 180 research papers published in many languages. Dr. Rossi’s writing and research describe advances in creative work, therapeutic hypnosis, psychoneuroimmunology, and the experiential dimensions of healing. He is widely recognized for his inspiring and insightful presentations. Nurses, psychologists, coaches and allied health professionals applaud his wealth of practical information and his ability to describe key concepts with eloquence and warmth. His most recent books are Creating New Consciousness in Everyday Life (video eBook), 2013) Creating Consciousness: How Therapists can Facilitate Wonder, Widsom, Truth and Beauty, (Palisades Gateway Press, 2012), Ultradian Rhythms from Molecule to Mind: A New Vision of Life (Co-edited with David Lloyd, Springer, 2008), The Breakout Heuristic (Milton H. Erickson Foundation Press, 2007), The Psychobiology of Gene Expression: Neuroscience and Neurogenesis in Hypnosis and the Healing Arts (W. W. Norton, 2002) and A Dialogue with Our Genes: The Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (Zeig-Tucker-Theisen, 2004). He recently updated CDs of the New Neuroscience Edition of Collected Papers of Milton H. Erickson and a dozen other books co-authored with him.
Kathryn Lane Rossi, PhD
Kathryn Lane Rossi, Ph.D. is internationally recognized as a sensitive psychotherapist and teacher of innovative approaches to facilitating the creative process in the arts and sciences. In recent years she has pioneered new neuroscience approaches to yoga, consciousness and enlightenment. She is a Professor of Psychotherapy at La Nuova Scuola Di Neuroscienze Ipnosi Therapeutica (The New School of Therapeutic Hypnosis) and l’Istituto Mente-Corpo (The Mind-Body Institute), Solopaca, Italy. Her abiding passion is the integration of ancient and modern experiences of heart and mind for facilitating the global evolution of consciousness and compassion. Her recent books include editing Creating Consciousness: How Psychotherapists Can Facilitate Wonder, Wisdom and Self-Care (2012), The Breakout Heuristic (2007), A Dialogue with Our Genes: The Psychosocial Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (2004) and The Symptom Path to Enlightenment: An Advanced Manual for Beginners (1996). She is a co-editor of the 16 volumes of The Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson, M.D.
Her university studies in language, society and environmental science opened her further to the need for establishing ways to hold the communal space and develop a new learning environment – that of authentic Australian indigenous pedagogy. In this vein she has created SevGen ~ www.sevgen.com.au ~ an innovative non-profit learning-community organisation. SevGen is short for Seven Generations, which is an Indigenous way of thinking that says we must consider that our actions and deliberatins of today, will affect our people seven generations into the future, whilst drawing on the wisdom of seven generations past. She is a visionary and inspiring public speaker, a hands-on pragmatist, as well as a representative of ancient indigenous wisdom with living connections to the elders of that wisdom. The Overview Institute of Australia is proud to have her on its advisory board.
Terri Waller has her Australian Aboriginal roots going back to her great, great grandfather in the lineage of the Dooloowar (D’Tulua ) people. She is of mixed Aboriginal-Estonian-Indonesian-Irish descent. As a child in twentieth century Australia, she was mainly raised within the sphere of her Caucasian Irish heritage, but was increasingly drawn to her deeper roots existing in the Dreamtime of her indigenous family lineage. Her awareness of her aboriginal ancestry began to surface more completely by age 17 while studying Indonesian language at university. By 24 she and her deeply supportive and loving husband began a more intense investigation into the family’s ancestral roots and cultural lineage with an aim of finding out how that heritage might enrich their lives and the lives of society at large.
As she watched her children grow, she could see gaps in the kind of education that was being offered in conventional schools. As an experienced and innovative schoolteacher herself with orientations toward self-directed learning, it became clear to her that deep indigenous wisdom was wanting. She could understand that the culture of the original people of the Australia held essential elements needed by the modern world as it moved into the 21st Century.
Felix Hoch PhD
Felix Hoch studied biology, studies of religion, Japanese studies and philosophy in Munich and Tokyo. He wrote his doctoral thesis on methodological integration in interdisciplinary meditation research. Training as integral-systemic personal and business coach and in Design Thinking, he had his first "initiation" to the power of the planetary perspective watching the documentary ‘Blue Planet’ in an IMAX theatre, being deeply touched by the immersive images. In 2010, he came across Frank White`s book ‘The Overview Effect’. Working as coach and facilitator in change and innovation projects he became interested in the question of 'How to apply the planetary perspective for transformation?'. He started to develop a conceptual framework and to explore the question in workshop and event formats. His most recent engagement is to support and connect the emerging scene of individuals and organisations interested in bringing the planetary perspective and Overview Effect down to Earth. He enjoys being in nature, with friends, practicing Zen meditation, and shifting perspectives.
Matthew Birch MBA
Matthew Birch has degrees in psychology, education and business administration. A current resident of New Zealand, he has also lived in Australia and Hong Kong. He has over 25 years Banking and Finance experience in Asia/Pacific with very well established global contacts. His vast management level experience dealing with global institutions, including major Banks, corporations, and government entities brings valuable perspectives and practical wisdom to the Overview Institute of Australia in the pursuit of one of its directives; that of 'bringing the overview effect down to Earth'. He is currently the Principal of Birch & Burns Ltd, advisors in business communication, empowering senior executives to success through effective communication. http://birchandburns.co.nz Birch & Burns is an associate company of ROBERTSON BURNS Australia.
Lila Sophia Tresemer
Lila is a group facilitator, writer, ceremonialist, and trans-denominational minister. She is a certified International Mediator through Mediators Without Borders, and a yoga teacher with the International Yoga Teachers Association. She is an accomplished filmmaker, author, community leader, and enthusiastic public speaker. With her husband David, she cofounded the StarHouse () in the 1990’s as a spiritual and cultural learning center in their hometown of Boulder, Colorado. She lives part-time on Flinders Island in Tasmania where she operates an eco-Retreat and Artist’s Residential program: MountainSeas.com.au
Lila has authored several books: Don’t Go Back to Sleep—a spiritual novel invoking the Divine Feminine in relationship to some of the challenges we face in the world; and The Sophia Elements Meditations, available online as a manner of working with the Four Elements towards transformation of the planet; the DVD, “Couple’s Illumination,” on energy dynamics in relationship; the DVD, “Brain Illumination,” on increasing awareness of the organs of the brain and how they can radiate more strongly and, the book, The Conscious Wedding Handbook.
Charles E. Smith PhD
A highly-experienced Futurist, Author, and Executive Coach, Charlie Smith's work has been with leaders and teams in companies, associations, industries and military organizations. Charlie is an expert in areas such as: Personal and Leadership Coaching; Helping release organizational energy in individuals and between people, departments and customers; Enabling others to create a future based on peoples’ commitment to each other’s success; Advising leaders to achieve unthinkable targets; Coaching people come to grips with what really troubles them and build a bridge from a future they want; Stimulating Breakthrough Thinking and Culture Change. Dr. Smith's special interest is in helping leaders and systems Break Free of the gravitational force that binds them to seemingly unchangeable culture and identity. Clients have been ambitious entrepreneurs and leaders facing big challenges with people, culture, and important transitions. A graduate of the Boston Public Latin School, Charlie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Relations from Harvard College, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, a Ph.D in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, and a Certificate in Gestalt Methods from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. He was a Visiting Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Sir George Williams University in Montreal and taught at the McGill University Centre for Management Education.
He is a former President of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of New Mexico, and Executive Editor of Transformation Magazine: a Quarterly Road Map. Dr. Smith has written two books, "The Merlin Factor" and "Navigating from the Future,” a soon to be published book, “Don’t Be A Noodle in Somebody Else’s Soup: Conversations that Matter,” as well as many articles which can be located in the Library of Professional Coaching and Eruditio, a Journal of the World Academy of Art and Science.
Environmental activist, author, and researcher, John Tresemer has been involved in planetary concerns for decades. Educated and experienced in global environmental realities, he has had personal contact and consultations with Al Gore concerning local, regional, and global atmospheric and hydro-spheric changes - Jane Goodall and Jean Michel Cousteau who advised him on local, regional, and global conservation issues - Oscar Arias (Nobel Peace Prize recipient) who directed him in founding Costa Rica's first marine protected area, ‘Ballena Marine National Park’ - Mario Boza, Getty Award for Conservation recipient, with whom he participated on the same government committee that established other National Parks and protected areas in Costa Rica.
In a way similar to the educational focus and momentum of the Overview Institute of Australia, John has been able to educate the Costa Rican government, as well as large conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, in the appreciation of the marine biodiversity and in altering our understanding of the migratory patterns of Humpback whales.
John consulting with planetary ecologist, Jane Goodall
The government of Costa Rica in 1992 declared John an Honorary Member of the National Parks Service and recently honored him again with official recognition for his environmental achievements that have been successful in protecting species, ecosystems, and habitats as well as ensuring sustainable, long-term, positive socio-economic advances for local communities.
From basic ecological perspectives, from a deep appreciation that our very survival is now at stake, and from the recognition of the perils of exceeding the global carrying capacity, John understands how tremendously important it is to look at our home – Planet Earth – from the larger perspective of the planetary overview to generate further motivation for life-affirming change. John has co-created an eco-lodge in Costa Rica - http://www.lacusingalodge.com - catering to like-minded individuals and groups of people from all over the world.
Christopher Altman is an American physicist, quantum technologist, international diplomat and NASA-trained commercial astronaut who began his scientific career with a Guinness world record-holding artificial intelligence project and a NASA/USAF-supported time travel division at multidisciplinary, “Deep Future” research institute Starlab.
His pioneering next-generation science and technology initiatives include research at world-leading research institutes including NASA Ames Research Center, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, as senior scientist at an astronaut training base on a volcano in Hawai‘i, as Chairman for the UNISCA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security—selected as annual recipient of the RSA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Policy—and as part of the US Government’s fast-track QuIST program in the global race for quantum supremacy.
As Director of the Board and Chief Science Officer for the world's first commercial astronaut corps and Director with Tau Zero Interstellar Foundation, successor to the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program, Altman's research spans quantum technology and next-generation spaceflight. His inaugural keynote address as a candidate with the commercial astronaut corps was broadcast live to 108 sister cities around the world. NASA allocated funding to the corps for its first manned spaceflights the following spring. Christopher is also ARC Future Fellow PhD Scholar in Quantum Technology at the Australian Research Council and University of Technology Sydney.
Brian Von Herzen PhD
Brian Von Herzen obtained his A.B. in Physics, Magna Cum Laude, from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Computer and Planetary Science from Caltech where he was the recipient of the prestigious Hertz Fellowship http://www.hertzfoundation.org. While at Princeton, Brian spent four years working closely with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. At Princeton, his dissertation on global climate models demonstrated how changes in the Earth's orbit affects climate. During his Caltech years Brian worked on models of the overabundance of carbon in Jupiter's atmosphere. Little did he know that a decade later we would have to solve this problem for the Earth's atmosphere. From these experiences he acquired a detailed understanding of the Earth’s carbon cycle and has envisioned sustainable approaches to restoring carbon balance in our atmosphere. Nature does a great job of fixing carbon. Primary production on the Earth has been fixing carbon for billions of years. By restoring natural carbon cycles, we can restore food productivity of Earth while concurrently balancing carbon. Once we reduce the carbon intensity of our own lifestyles, natural biogeochemical processes can take our civilization carbon negative, using technologies comprising biochar to withdraw gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere for millennia.
Much of Brian’s career has been in Silicon Valley, where he developed innovative technical solutions for companies like Pixar, Dolby, Microsoft, and others. Among other projects, he designed field programmable gate array (FPGA) applications considered to be among the world’s fastest at the time.Brian leads projects on land and sea with individuals and groups in all parts of the world, including India, Africa, and the USA.
Philippe Ailleris is a Project Controller at the Space Research and Technology Centre of the European Space Agency (ESA), in the Netherlands. His childhood fascination with astronomy and space exploration led him to his current employment in the space sector and interest in remote sensing, sustainable development, astrobiology and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP). Philippe contributed to the first European Overview Symposium by giving a presentation entitled "Big Data from Space: Towards a democratization of the Overview Effect". His thesis is that the continuously increasing amount of satellites images, the arrival of high-resolution open data and a guaranteed data continuity through the EU/ESA Copernicus programme, provides great opportunities for democratizing the Overview Effect. According to him, the quick-cadence satellite imagery, coupled with the advent of personal technology such as smart phones, holds huge potential for the creation of innovative products and services aiming at fostering a sense of stewardship for our planet.
In 2009, he founded the UAP Observations Reporting Scheme Project, which he initiated autonomously under the framework of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. This project aims at contributing towards a better understanding of transient atmospheric phenomena by explaining the most common causes of UAP mis-identifications for the general public and collecting UAP reports from the astronomical community. Similarly to the cognitive shift in awareness reported by astronauts and cosmonauts during spaceflight, Philippe argues that the persons who have observed UFOs at close range will have also gained a change of perspective about Earth and mankind’s place on Earth and in the universe and that future open contact with intelligent extra-terrestrial life would be the ultimate Overview Effect.
James O’Dea is author of The Conscious Activist, Cultivating Peace , Soul Awakening Practice (June 2017) and other acclaimed works. James is a former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Washington office director of Amnesty International and CEO of the Seva Foundation. He worked with the Middle East Council of Churches in Beirut during a time of war and massacre and lived in Turkey for five years during civil upheaval and coup d’etat.
He has taught peacebuilding to over a thousand students in 30 countries. He has also conducted frontline social healing dialogues around the world. He is a member of The Evolutionary Leaders group and on the Advisory Board of The Peace Alliance and Kosmos Journal. James also mentors emerging leaders. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Laszlo New Paradigm Institute. James is both an activist and mystic. www.jamesodea.com
Daniel Christian Wahl PhD
Daniel Christian Wahl works internationally as a consultant and educator in regenerative development, whole systems design, and transformative innovation. He holds degrees in biology (Univ. of Edinburgh), and holistic science (Schumacher College), and his 2006 doctoral thesis (Univ. of Dundee) was on Design for Human and Planetary Health.
He was director of Findhorn College between 2007 and 2010, and is a member of the International Futures Forum since 2009 and Gaia Education since 2007. He has collaborated with UNITAR and UNESCO, many large NGOs, and as a consultant his clients included companies such as Camper, Ecover and Lush, as well as, local and regional governments and UK Foresight. Daniel is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a Findhorn Foundation Fellow, on the advisory council of the Ojai Foundation and the Ecosystems Restoration Camp Foundation and on the research group of the Global Ecovillage Network. He is co-founder of Biomimicry Iberia (2012), and has been collaborating with ‘SmartUIB’ at the University of the Balearic Islands since
2014. Daniel currently also works part-time as Gaia Education’s head of innovation and programme design. His book Designing Regenerative Cultures was published in 2016 by Triarchy Press and has already reached international acclaim along with his blog on Medium. The ‘SDG Community Implementation Fashcards’ he developed for Gaia Education have been taken up enthusiastically by UNESCO and are being translated into the 5 official UN languages. He co-curates the Ecological Consciousness page on Facebook which gained 60k followers in the first 11 months.
Shlomo Yishai PhD
Since 1995 Dr Yishai has been lecturing undergraduates and graduates at Herzog College.
Between the years 2003 - 2008 he worked on his doctoral studies in Research on Emotions at the Interdisciplinary Center, Haifa University and received his PhD in 2009. Dr Yishai has over twenty years of experience in lecturing and conducting workshops at academic and professional conventions, in companies and in the educational system.
for Air Force personnel. In 2011 he was instrumental in establishing the Air Force Academy for Senior Officers in his capacity as head of the team dealing with ideological development. After presenting his development rationale to the Academy commander, Dr Yishai was asked to implement these principles throughout the entire academy. Consequently he headed the team responsible for formulating the Academy's leadership rationale in conjunction with Academy commander Lieutenant-Colonol Golan Ya'ir and his staff. After tailoring the rationale to the Air Force's unique requirements, the rationale led by Dr. Yishai served as the basis for the development of the Air Force's Academy for Senior Officers.
In 2010 Dr Yishai was appointed head of the program for training directors at Herzog Collage. As an expert in the field of Research on Emotions, he deals with analyzing organizational processes and developing leadership outlines specifically tailored to the unique character of each company, institute and organization.
Annahita Nezami received her doctorate in Counselling Psychology from City, University of London and is the founder of VROE http://www.vr-overview-effect.co.uk/ Virtual Reality Overview-Effect where she designs and co-facilitates mental health workshops. As a counselling psychologist she also runs a private practice in Kingston upon Thames, UK, with over 15 years experience working in mental health with specialisations in attachment, depression, anxiety, trauma and personality disorders.
Her VROE project has been inspired by her five years of doctoral research on the therapeutic value of the Overview Effect. Her research aimed to explore how we can use awe-inducing experiences such as Earth gazing to promote growth and wellbeing. Dr Nezami's ongoing research continues to focus on understanding the effect and in discovering how its transforming emotions such as awe, gratitude, reverence, humility and wonder might be experienced by people on Earth as well as astronauts. She stresses that the role of psychologists should not merely focus on individual well-being but the well-being of entire societies. She is a speaker at conferences in the UK and Europe on her ideas and research into the Overview Effect, and has presented at TEDx London, British Psychological Society UK, InScience Festival, and Overview Symposium Netherlands. She has also contributed to BBC radio 4 and The Pulse radio programmes.
Annahita Nezami PhD
Jean-Pierre holds degrees in engineering and applied mathematics for economics. Former researcher in mathematics at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory (United States Department of Energy) in Chicago, he was awarded the SIAM optimization prize in 2002 for his research on solving large scale optimization problems using the computational power of unused computers on the Internet. He is currently General Manager of a company in Paris specialized in energy and environment. He is the author of the two novels "Siècle bleu" www.sieclebleu.org that tells an alternative narration of the 21st century and explains how the view of the Earth from space - the “overview effect” - could trigger a planetary revolution. He is the co-founder of the Blueturn project www.blueturn.earth with his long time friend Michael Boccarre. Blueturn shows for the first time in human history real videos of the Whole earth rotating in space, using data from the NASA DSCOVR satellite (located on the Lagrangian L1 point, one million miles away).
Kirk J. Schneider PhD
Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. Dr. Schneider is the current president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI), Council Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), past president (2015-2016) of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the APA, recent past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (2005-2012), and adjunct faculty member at Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Schneider is also an Honorary Member of the Society for Existential Analysis and the East European Association for Existential Therapy. A Fellow of the APA, Dr. Schneider has published over 200 articles, interviews and chapters and has authored or edited 13 books including The Spirituality of Awe, The Polarized Mind, Awakening to Awe, The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, Existential-Humanistic therapy, Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy, and the Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy.
For more information on Dr. Schneider's work visit https://kirkjschneider.com
Rachel L. Smith PhD
Dr. Rachel L. Smith is an observational astronomer studying the early chemistry of planet formation, at a time before planets have formed and there is a disk of gas and dust spinning around a forming star. These systems are analogues to our solar system when it was forming ~ 4.6 billion years ago. To investigate the carbon-rich molecules needed for life and terrestrial planets, Rachel uses ground-based telescopes, including the Keck Observatory and Infrared Telescope Facility, both on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. She has also flown on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the world’s largest airborne observatory, to investigate molecules containing sulfur and oxygen.
Rachel is Head of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab, and Curator of Meteorites at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and an Associate Professor in Physics & Astronomy at Appalachian State University, and an Adjunct Professor at UNC Chapel Hill.
She enjoys creating space-related programs and visualizations for the public, and involving her students in her work. Rachel was a featured scientist in the documentary “The Most Unknown” (https://www.themostunknown.com) - For more information on her work and projects visit https://naturalsciences.org/staff/rachel-smith. Rachel has been a vegan since 1992 and believes compassion for all animals will lead to a sustainable existence on Earth. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and her family includes miniature donkeys, horses, goats, chickens, a turkey, two cats and several crested geckos.