Save the world wasn’t in Jane Chen’s five-year plan when she landed an enviable consultant position at Monitor Group right out of college. But three years in, she read a New York Times article that changed that.
The story was about a ghastly AIDS epidemic in China. “A switch went off in my head,” the Taiwanese-descended California native said. “I could just as easily have been born there.”
Chen realized, “I had won the genetic lottery.”
She quit the job and joined a nonprofit. She traveled and saw how the destitute half of the world lived. Eventually, she ended up at Stanford Business School studying “Design for Extreme Affordability,” or how to create products for people who live on less than ...