Lorraine Marchand

Author. Speaker. Innovation Consultant.


Engaging, commanding and always provocative, Lorraine uses stories and case examples, underpinned by data, to challenge industry icons and myths, offering creative approaches to solving intractable problems in life sciences and healthcare.

In this lively session based on real-life stories of successful innovation, you will learn “the art of the pivot—you never fail as long as you’re learning.”

Imagine this:  It’s 1975. You’re 12 years old, sitting in a red booth in a diner with your dad and brother. Dad observes that some tables are cleared faster than others, then he challenges you to identify why and come up with at least 3 fixes.  You and your brother see the cause for delay is most often half-opened sugar packets, their contents spilled all over the place. Together you devise a dozen solutions, deciding the best is a container shaped like a cube specifically designed to collect the used sugar packets – the sugar cube! That diner uses your model, and you sell it to other local restaurants too!

Fast forward to the 1990s. You’re working for a pharmaceutical company seeking to create a product for the debilitating gastrointestinal illness, Crohn’s disease – no treatment advances in over 40 years. Your scientists have created a new and stunning solution. However, the FDA is blocking progress for safety concerns; this technology is too radically new to accept that previous standards for clinical trials will be adequate.  However, you (and your company) don’t say “Well, those are the rules; we can’t break them, so let’s cut our losses.” You pivot, exploring every “what-if” and reframing strategy.

Learn the genius in making big problems small including 3 very basic steps to the secret of innovating without failure:

  1. Break down your large problem into smaller and smaller groups of steps. Divide and conquer, assigning each small obstacle to those with the talents most suited to handle them.
  2. Devise several solutions for each of those small obstacles, realizing you’ll have to go through one or several options before you find your best one. Options that aren’t the best are not failures. They’re just not your best options. Pivot as often as necessary to stay on track.
  3. Pick the best options, assemble your solutions, and enjoy the journey.

How to lead strategic growth and transformation in any industry with these steps on how to innovate when commercial success is your goal.

Innovation isn’t just for science and engineering experts–Legal, IP, Compliance, Financial, IT, Accounting, Marketing and Operations professionals are critical business partners. We examine the mindset, skills and tools that can help everyone in the company identify and mitigate risks to balance risk with reward as we innovate.

The Innovation Mindset requires that customers come first and this talk we explore best practices in customer discovery, share the killer voice of the customer questions and offer tips on conducting customer research on a budget.

Digital transformation impacts all industries and the digital customer is driving how companies are going to market. The Innovation MIndset offers a tool kit for success.


Innovation in the area of data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.


Recognizing women innovators past and present and influencing future generations
A discussion of the status of women in entrepreneurship and innovation globally and a look at what we can do to encourage and support more women innovators.