"As a patient who developed an innovative surgery for my own condition, I understand the power of user innovation to create remarkable change and lasting engagement."

  • Us·er In·no·va·tion [n] : You and your company get direct benefit from an idea you’ve generated because it improves the way your business or organization operates.


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"Engaged employees care about their work, but it’s a whole other level of engagement when employees start solving the problems they face every day, refining company processes, and creating the best practices of tomorrow."   

Bio and Description

At the young age of 21, Doug Lindsay faced an almost impossible challenge when he was forced to drop out of college after developing a mysterious, debilitating illness. The doctors were stumped. His heart would race; the room would spin; his muscles would cramp and ache – and all this if he’d stand for longer than a commercial break or walk further than 50 feet. Time passed and he didn’t get better. Doug spent 22 hours a day stuck in a hospital bed in his living room for eleven years… until he figured out what was wrong, developed novel treatments to keep it at bay, and then developed the surgery that fixed him!

Without a college degree or even the health to leave his house, Doug Lindsay built and led an interdisciplinary team of medical experts from across the nation and the world in his effort to translate a long forgotten animal surgery into a modern human surgery. He persevered, taught himself to become a world authority on aspects of his condition and treatment, developed new uses for 5 prescription drugs, and built relationships with senior faculty at more than two dozen institutions – all in an unprecedented, 21st century effort to innovate his way back to health. He earned the right to bet his life on the operating table for the surgery he’d rescued from the past… and it paid off!

Once recovered, Doug went back to school and finished his biology degree. Now, Doug lectures on how unyielding belief and resilience factor into innovation, on how to innovate in a trust based environment, on character’s role in success, and on how viewing failure like a scientist can help you persevere and win!

Speech topics

  • Creating an Engaged, Positive and Hopeful Culture by Fostering User Innovation
  • Unleashing Your True Ability Through Passion, Trying, and "the Science Fail"

“Your story has profoundly impacted me… your story has changed me and the world needs to hear it. I watch a lot of Ted talks and have never been so moved …”

Gina P.
Branch Manager, US Bank

"An amazing success story! Doug inspired the room. I've already booked him for another event!"

Mark S.
Associate Dean, St. Louis University

Or, email and start the conversation about booking Doug today at:


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