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Jim Fruchterman

Founder and CEO, Benetech

Skoll Awardee

Biography

Jim Fruchterman is the founder and CEO of Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit technology company that develops software applications to address unmet needs of users in the social sector. He is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his work as a pioneering social entrepreneur, including the MacArthur Fellowship, Caltech’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Migel Medal—the highest honor in the blindness field—from the American Foundation for the Blind.

Benetech’s work has grown to touch thousands of organizations and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Benetech’s suite of tools and services has transformed the ways in which people with disabilities such as dyslexia and vision impairment access printed information, at-risk human rights defenders safely document abuse, and environmental practitioners protect species and ecosystems. Today, through Benetech Labs, its innovation arm, Benetech explores new software-for-good ideas that have the potential to make life better for millions.

JJim has also been active in public policy and thought leadership. He has served on three federal advisory committees on technology policy, as well as repeatedly testifying before Congress on innovation and technology subjects. He speaks and writes extensively on social entrepreneurship, disability and technology topics, and lectures regularly at universities around the United States and the world. He was on the original drafting team for the Treaty of Marrakesh, the first pro-consumer intellectual property treaty passed by the United Nations, which went into international legal effect in 2016.

Through his work with Benetech and as a trailblazer in the field of social entrepreneurship, Jim continues to advance his vision of a world in which the benefits of technology reach all of humanity, not just the wealthiest and most able five percent.