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Lauren Braun, founder of the nonprofit social enterprise Alma Sana Inc., explains how to develop a innovative, life-saving device through a conscientious, thorough, and inclusive process. In this talk, Lauren describes how she came up with the simple yet powerful idea of using bracelets as routine childhood vaccination appointment reminders for mothers in developing countries, the importance of incorporating input from local communities into the design, and persevering through uncertainty. You will learn how to increase an innovation's acceptance and utility by putting the user first and taking measured risks to implement the project.

Alma Sana Inc., a 501(c)3 social enterprise dedicated to increasing timely vaccination rates through the use Lauren's patented vaccine reminder bracelet. Lauren came up with the idea of using bracelets to remind mothers of their children's immunization appointment dates during her 2009 summer internship in a public health clinic in Cusco, Peru. Over the next three years, Lauren developed and presented her business plan to execute her idea, for which she won awards in local, national, and international social enterprise competitions. After receiving a Gates Foundation grant in November 2012 to implement the project, Lauren left her corporate job at Humana, a Fortune 79 health insurance company, to pursue Alma Sana full-time. She is currently piloting the bracelet's use in Peru and Ecuador with a team of 20 people. Lauren graduated in 2011 with a BS in Human Development and two minors in Inequality and Global Health, and she is planning to pursue a Master's degree in Public Health next year. She is passionate about reducing inequality, particularly among women and children, and is looking forward to exploring the potential of business and public--private partnerships to empower women and enable people to thrive economically.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading,

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