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.
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.
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.
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.
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.