Blog #7 Mia w

List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate.
1.  We need to validate how mushrooms are perceived in their society. Gross? Luxury? Medicinal?

2. The common way to prepare mushrooms. Dried? Cook? Raw?

3. When mushrooms are eaten? Special occasions? When someone is sick?

4. Do their children eat mushrooms? Common for children to hate mushrooms

5. What kind of mushroom do they eat when available? Would they only trust that one?

6. Do they have easy access cold storage areas?

7.  Would they eat in in portions as a main dish?

8. Would people rather become entrepreneurs or work for a main mushroom production system?

9. What are people’s current knowledge of mushrooms and mushroom production systems?

10. If both their normal wild mushrooms and the other mushrooms are available which would they choose?

List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork.
1. Is Sierra Leonne too hot for mushroom production?

2. Can we keep things clean enough for no contamination?

3. Are the materials we’re using available in Sierra Leonne?

4. Would the available replacements be sufficient?

5. Would we need to make another DIY pressure cooker?

6. Could they keep a culture going or would they need to keep getting more plugs?

7.  If we find we can cut out some pasteurization steps here would it still be possible over there?

8.  Would we need isopropyl alcohol to make up for their dirty water in simple cleaning steps?

9.  Is it too expensive to make the right growing conditions in Sierra Leonne?

10.  Will the blocks be successful enough to do 2nd rounds of grow runs?

What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class? Please be specific.

I bring past experience of growing up on a mushroom farm to the team. The weakness there is we have access to lots of advanced machinery and resources to refine the mushroom growing process and I cannot translate that process I’m familiar with to these “primitive” methods we have to use. I know many solutions to our problems but the solutions are not feasible with what we are trying to do. That past experience has also blinded me to other options.

Blog #6 Mia

One thing I could do to strengthen our presentation is to better cover my slide about why mushrooms offer solutions in Sierra Leonne. There were quite a few comments both by judges and students asking for more explanation which was my job.

A second thing I can do is to have shorter answers to questions that are more to the point instead of elaborating on my answer.

Along with that, a third thing I can do is to not add onto someone else’s answer, and to think more before hand if my addition is really bringing good information.

A fourth thing I can do is to not be frantic to make sure I answer questions solely for the purpose of making sure Marc doesn’t answer everything and take more time to think about a good answer and take the questions I have developed, thought out, efficient answers to.

Fifthly, I could practice my slides more and better compile an outline of what I want to say. In practice, what I said for each slide changed a lot, both in content and order of presenting. With better preparation, I could make sure I cover what I need to in a consistent, logical order.

Sixthly, I could work on my public speaking to better emphasize and communicate the commonly unknown mushroom terms and all of the presentation in general. Stumbling on words detracts from the information so lessening that is a good thing to work on.

Seventhly, I could work on my enthusiasm to better excite the audience on our topic. Specifically, I need to work on ending my slides on an high note as opposed to trailing off and getting softer.

Eighthly, I need to work on my hand gestures to not distract from my speaking and so they look professional and not fidgety or make me look nervous.

Ninthly, I need to work on my language bank. There were a few comments on the use of the word “hopefully” and I don’t know if that was me or not but I need to ingrain it into me to not use words along that line.

Lastly, I need to work on making and memorizing a question bank of questions and answers. We talked about it before hand but never laid out a concrete bank to add too. Being able to review that with more set answers will help to make answers shorter, more to the point, an unnecessary for any group member feel they need to add more after another already answered because everyone would have discussed before hand anyways.

Our work does not require IRB strategy. We are not doing research with human subjects. While we still need to submit a  form to make sure, we are confident that because our work is mushroom production centered, that our project does not apply to the IRB strategy.

A logic model for our venture is with inputs, outputs and outcomes. Our inputs will be funds such as the EPA grant, to fund our research for the best mushroom production process. Other inputs are materials, with getting agricultural waste of rice straw from farmers. Another input is labor. Outputs will depend on our business model. If we sell MSPs, outputs will include mushroom production houses sold. With a central mushroom factory, outputs will be wages paid. For both, a main output will be mushrooms grown. For other outputs, we could measure mushroom production houses paid off, the wages made by the farmer before and after the mushroom house, and how many pounds of mushrooms sold. For outcomes, the goal is a better quality of life, better diet, and better work stability.