Jane Marie Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Embrace, a social enterprise that aims to help the 15 million premature and low birth-weight babies born every year, through a low-cost infant warmer. Her innovative idea takes the place of costly and technical incubators, allowing her technology to reach more remote villages around the world. Recently, Embrace Innovations launched a new line of baby products, Little Lotus, using the Embrace technology for the US market. These products are proven to help babies sleep longer since the blankets and other baby products reduce temperature wavering. For each Little Lotus product sold a reusable Embrace infant warmer will be given to a developing country, saving numerous lives.
Before starting her own non-profit, Chen worked on healthcare issues in developing countries with various non-profit organizations. She started as the Program Director for an HIV/AIDS non-profit organization in China and went on to work for the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative in Tanzania. She later advised Fortune 500 companies as a management consultant with Monitor Group.
Chen has been a TED Speaker and was selected as one of Forbes’ Impact 30 in 2011. She has been recognized as the Inspirational Young Alumni of the Year by Pomona College and was featured in Stanford’s “Tradition of Innovation.” Chen has spoken at numerous international conferences, including the Skoll World Forum and the World Economic Forum. In 2012, Chen was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was featured in Dove’s “Real Role Models” campaign for women and girls. Chen is a TED Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, and Rainer Arnhold Fellow. In 2013, Chen and the other co-founders of Embrace were awarded the prestigious Economist Innovation Award. In the same year, Chen and her co-founder were also recognized as Schwab Social Entrepreneurs of the Year by the World Economic Forum. Chen was selected for Good Housekeeping’s “Awesome Women Awards” in 2016, and was also featured in Town and Country’s “Biggest Philanthropists.” She was recently honored with the Real Innovation Award from London Business School and Deloitte.
Chen received her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and her Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She received her BA from Pomona College. She is an avid surfer and meditator and writes a personal blog and a column for Forbes about life lessons learned through surfing and entrepreneurship. Jane speaks about topics ranging from design thinking to innovation, to leadership and the entrepreneurial journey.
Using Design Thinking to Save Lives
How can you save lives? If you’re a doctor you can save one life at a time, but how can you save thousands of lives if there is just one of you? Jane Chen decided to use design thinking, a systematic process for problem-solving. By following a process of empathizing, defining, brainstorming, prototyping, testing, and implementing, Jane Chen plans to help the 15 million premature and low birth-weight babies born every year through a low-cost infant warmer In this talk, Jane walks through the design thinking process and illustrates how she was able to use it at Embrace to develop an innovation that has now saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Embracing the Entrepreneurial Journey
In this talk, she walks through the process of creating Embrace, the challenges faced along the way, and key lessons she learned as an entrepreneur.
What is the Cathedral You want to Build?
People dedicate their lives to building Cathedrals that take hundreds of years to complete. They will never see their work come to finality and celebrate their accomplishments. These people work for a cause that is greater than themselves.
In this talk, she walks through the process of creating Embrace, how to lead with purpose, and how to think about the purpose of your work and the legacy you want to leave.
Founding Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute
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