Jun
9
7:00pm 7:00pm

Skip the Small Talk About Purpose: The Picnic Edition

An MIT-affiliated group called Engineering Activism (EA) approached us to design and run an event. The purpose of the event, as per the request of EA, was to help attendees identify their values and help them create a system for making career choices that align with those values. We called on research regarding decision-making, goal-setting, willpower, and more to create an event where people could identify what was important to them and keep themselves accountable to acting accordingly. 

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May
24
7:00pm 7:00pm

Fusion Playground

Tickets available until sold out here.

Design: Easton Smith

Design: Easton Smith

Skip the Small Talk created an interactive icebreaker using beach balls that will roam the beautiful Warehouse XI among other interactive art pieces. The fusion dance and interactive art event will benefit The Network/ La Red and will take place in the beautiful Warehouse XI in Somerville, Massachusetts. 

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Dec
11
6:00pm 6:00pm

Brainstorming/Goal-Setting Workshop

Photo: Ashley Kirsner

Photo: Ashley Kirsner

We developed and facilitated a customized and data-backed brainstorming and goal-setting workshop for MIT students participating in the Open Mind Open Art project. We drew on research about channel factors, SMART goals, creativity, positive psychology, and more in designing this event.

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Sep
27
7:00pm 7:00pm

Interactive Scavenger Hunt

Photo: Michelle Thomas

Photo: Michelle Thomas

We held an interactive scavenger hunt at The KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market. Attendees found others who had life and food experiences different from theirs and life/food experiences that were similar to theirs, and then had to do a short challenge with each other. Some examples of the challenges include creating a secret handshake or coming up with a recipe together involving peanut butter. We drew on research about co-experience, I-sharing, intergroup relations, decision-making, and more to design this event.

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Sep
4
to Sep 5

Reset Button For Your Life Retreat

Photo courtesy of Tenderness Gathering Place

Photo courtesy of Tenderness Gathering Place

The folks at Tenderness Gathering Place reached out to us to hold a retreat at their gorgeous Lunenburg retreat space, and we couldn't say no. Attendees had the option of sleeping over and continuing to better know each other, or staying just long enough for the structured activity. We designed a series of activities based in psychology research to help attendees rationally question their self-doubts and better utilize their character strengths. Those who participated in the activity reported greater clarity and confidence in making difficult decisions; deeper understanding of themselves and why certain events trigger emotional responses in them; and significantly greater coping ability in response to emotions that arose on a day-to-day basis. We drew on research about cognitive behavioral theory, mindfulness, and positive psychology for this event.

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Jul
17
2:00pm 2:00pm

BYOPicnic: Bonding Edition

Photo:Coco McCabe

Photo:Coco McCabe

For this special edition of our Skip the Small Talk BYOPicnic series, we met at the Boston Common and invited folks to bring someone they wanted to get to know better, whether it was someone they'd just met or someone they'd known their whole lives (other attendees also came by themselves and met people there). We developed special "bonding questions" designed to spark interesting conversations between people who already knew each other. We also had our usual get-to-know-you questions and activities. Psychology research on co-experience, decision-making, and more informed the questions and the event design. 

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Jul
16
12:00pm12:00pm

The Vulnerability Museum

Photo: Michael Goodman

Photo: Michael Goodman

We asked strangers to lend us items of sentimental value to be displayed next to explanations of what gave them value at the Tiny House Festival in Concord, Massachusetts. We gave "museum tours" describing poignant, funny, and touching anecdotes about the items. Among the pieces were a Post-It note, a pair of pants, a book passed on for generations, and a star made from aluminum foil. Passersby wrote down their thoughts and reactions on index cards and place them on the walls. We drew on research about shame, vulnerability, and game theory in designing this museum.

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