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Ashley Kirsner was fascinated by the ways that people connect, or fail to connect, with each other. She wanted a way to use her psychology research training to facilitate deeper interactions in everyday life, outside of the lab. Her friend, Devin Karbowicz, had a similar desire, and together they founded communiT Boston. Taking the name from the nickname for the local public transportation system (“the T”), communiT was a series of free monthly events held at T stations, designed to provide fun and unique ways for strangers to interact with each other.Ashley wondered what would happen if these brief interactions with strangers were extended into longer events. The first such event was the “Skip the Small Talk Dinner,” a picnic centered around using cards with thought-provoking questions to help the attendees interact. Ashley expected about fifteen people to show up, but before she knew it, over five hundred people had expressed interest in the Facebook event. The event was such a hit that some participants stayed three hours after the picnic was scheduled to end. From there, Ashley continued to host variations of Skip the Small Talk until landing upon the hugely popular current iteration hosted at Aeronaut Brewing Company and Trident Booksellers & Cafe.