window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-149431051-2');
Get Premium
Test 1 / 16

The speaker starts his discourse by looking at someone who may not want to continue doing something, or that nobody may want this particular anymore.


The market can be weird, and you could be affected by beyond you.


The speaker’s thoughts are encompassed by the Japanese word ‘Ikigai’, which means that which gets you out of bed in the morning.


He goes on to talk about the fact that you never work out your Ikigai, whichever of life you may be in.


It is affected by change, as you may need to care for someone, or your industry may have sort of .


So, you are effectively dead, even if you are still alive, and the speaker finds this .


Someone successful, who may be thought to have ‘made it’ can wake up with a profound sense of .


This refers to despair, where monotony rules and what people, no matter how educated, sophisticated or , really want is a sense of anticipation.


People are really only looking for wonder, although they were trained to work hard and and network, to climb the ladder of success.

Speaker 1

(0:03) You go to school, you get trained in something, then you go get a job in that, and then you do that job and that’s your career, and then you die. (0:11) But then they got into this thing and realized they don’t actually wanna do this with their life. (0:17) Or nobody wants this particular trade anymore.

(0:23) You make 8-track players. (0:25) People aren’t buying 8-tracks anymore. (0:27) There’s this weird thing about the market where if you go in with, well, this is a thing that I do, there may be forces beyond you that no one wants to pay for that anymore.

(0:37) And so over the years, I kept meeting people who had this very single track, this is what I’m supposed to do thing, and then it disappointed them for reasons out of their control or simply I got trained to do this thing that I don’t like to do. (0:52) Then I stumbled on this Japanese word, akigai. (0:55) And akigai essentially is that which gets you out of bed in the morning.

(0:59) And sometimes it’s translated your reason for being. (1:03) And in Japanese culture, they have this very well thought through idea of akigai that you never stop working out your akigai, what it is that gets you out of bed in the morning. (1:15) And so in this season of life, this is what you’re doing, but that may change, it may shift.

(1:22) Somebody you love may get sick and so you need to care for them. (1:27) You used to do this, and now that industry is sort of dried up, but now you need to go back to school because you need to now go do this. (1:36) And they had this really interesting idea that when you no longer have something that gets you out of bed in the morning, then you’re kind of dead even if you’re still alive.

(1:43) And the reason why I find that fascinating is you can be successful, you can have a nice job, you can have a nice house, you can do all the stuff that everybody says, hey, you’ve made it, and yet wake up in the morning with a profound sense of dread, like, ugh, another day. (2:02) And despair, despair is a spiritual disease. (2:07) Despair is when you believe that tomorrow will simply be a repeat of today.

(2:13) Despair is when you look ahead into the future and each day is just another version of this. (2:21) What we really want, no matter how educated, sophisticated, accomplished we are, we want to wake up in the morning with this sense of anticipation, like, look what I get to do today. (2:36) The great Abraham Joshua Heschel said, I didn’t ask for success, I asked for wonder.

(2:43) And I love that because for many of us, we were trained for success. (2:49) Here’s how you work hard and multitask and network and get stuff done and climb the ladder. (2:53) What we weren’t taught oftentimes was to ask, is this ladder even leaned up against the right building?

(2:59) Which is a different set of questions. (3:01) It’s like it exerts a different set of muscles.


Test 2 / 16

This business is of the Californian economy.


The graduates collect waste early in the morning.


The waste product is used to cultivate mushrooms.


The objective of the enterprise is to grow valuable .


The presence of caffeine in the grounds makes it impossible for plants to in coffee alone.


The second stage of the process requires the graduates to the mushrooms into believing they are about to die.


In the final stage, before they start fruiting, the bags become fully by the mycelium.


The objective of the exercise is to see all their hard work start .


But the question about whether the business model is or not needs to be asked.

Speaker 1

(0:04) These are tough times for San Francisco. (0:07) The state of California is officially bankrupt. (0:10) The economy is still reeling from the global financial downturn and unemployment is now over 11%.

(0:17) But two graduates here are bucking the trend by building a business based on waste. (0:22) It’s six in the morning and Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez are doing something they never thought they would be doing when they attended one of California’s top university business schools. (0:33) Collecting waste coffee grounds.

(0:36) And they have big plans for their business.

Speaker 2

(0:39) We first heard about the whole idea at a lecture here at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and initially it was just the fact that you could take coffee grounds, used up coffee grounds, and grow gourmet mushrooms such as oyster, shiitake, ganaderma.

Speaker 3

(0:56) America’s addicted to coffee. (0:57) There’s something you’ve got to be able to do with that idea of using coffee grounds to grow mushrooms.

Speaker 2

(1:03) That initially was extremely interesting to us and extremely exciting to actually have the potential, the possibility and the opportunity to actually take this waste and do something valuable with it and grow a valuable product.

Speaker 1

(1:17) World coffee production is around 7 million tons a year and with less than 1% of the coffee bean ending up in the cup, that’s a lot of waste. (1:26) The caffeine in the grounds means that most plants cannot flourish in coffee alone. (1:31) But mushrooms are different.

(1:33) In humid conditions they thrive on these pods containing only waste coffee grounds. (1:38) The Mushroom Farm is an empty warehouse in a depressed part of San Francisco. (1:43) These are not any old mushrooms, but gourmet oyster mushrooms much in demand in restaurants throughout the city.


Speaker 3

(1:49) This is the Better Ventures Oyster Mushroom Warehouse and this is the first stage of the whole process. (1:55) This is where Alex and I come in every morning. (1:57) We bring the coffee in here, we mix it with the spawn and we plant these bags.

(2:01) And as the mushroom seed or the spawn starts to take over the substrate, the coffee gets covered in a white thin layer which is mycelium. (2:08) And once it’s completely covered, we know it’s ready for the next room.

Speaker 2

(2:11) This is the room where we actually shock the mushrooms. (2:14) So it’s kind of neat because the way mushrooms actually grow is when they feel like they’re going to die, the caps start coming out. (2:22) So in order to do that, we either change the temperature, change the relative humidity, change the CO2 content in the bag.

(2:30) So if you look at these bags right now, they have been fully colonized by the mycelium. (2:34) And then there are about three to five days they’re going to be going to the fruiting room where they’ll actually start growing.

Speaker 3

(2:41) This is where everything kind of comes together, all the hard work starts paying off. (2:44) So you can see the mushrooms literally start popping out of the substrate or the coffee. (2:50) So it starts off, you can see, with small primordia, so the mushroom’s starting to form.

(2:56) And then over a couple of days, they start to grow and grow and you get these beautiful kind of white oyster mushrooms.

Speaker 1

(3:01) So have they found a viable business model that is also sustainable? (3:05) The dean at their former business school is impressed.

Speaker 4

(3:08) Being able to take something that is not only essentially of no value but of negative value, it’s a waste product. (3:14) We have to deal with it. (3:14) It’s costly to deal with.

(3:16) And being able to transform that into something valuable is really very important. (3:19) But at the end of the day, of course, the cost of that transformation, the scale at which it will have to occur, and the ultimate quality of what’s produced, these are uncertainties that they’re managing as best they can. (3:29) If they’re managed well and we get the right outcome, this is going to be a booming business.