Friend, collaborator and someone who was held by Stephen during a bad trip

I have known Stephen for several years, firstly through Find the Others gatherings, then interacting with him many times over a period where he lived in a house-share with a partner of mine, and finally as a collaborator when he asked me to advise the psychedelic society on their 'psilocybin for mental health' campaign (me having previously founded a professional network for the UK's largest mental health anti stigma campaign)

Personally, I have always experienced Steve to be gentle, kind and hospitable, as well as thoughtful and encouraging of ethical and pro-social behaviours of those around him (I have a distinct memory of questioning my own level of personal ethics after spending some time experiencing the values he chose to live by)

Professionally I experience Stephen as having a deep commitment to social change, a fantastic collaborator and someone who goes out of their way to include less confident peoples voices in meetings. He can also be cavalier in his approach, sacrificing group team coherence for speed, and this has been a source of frustration before. However, all leaders have their growth areas and overall my experience of Steve as a collaborator was a deeply positive one.

I have also had the experience of turning to Steve for support during a music festival in 2019 where I was on psychedelics and having an overwhelming experience involving dissociation. As soon as I told him I wasn't okay, Steve stopped everything, sat down with me, pulled out a candle from his bag and lit it - he then quietly sang to me until I calmed down and stayed with me until I was laughing and joking again. I remain deeply grateful to Stephen for his gentleness in this moment of need.

I live near Stephen in Devon now, and experience him as a man with a love of the quiet life - spending time in nature and hosting small dinners with close friends, as well as offering me plenty of sound advice on how to grow my startup with horizontal ethics and inclusion at its core.

— Michael Matania