Founder Open Source Pharma
Jaykumar Menon is an award-winning international human rights lawyer, a social entrepreneur, and Professor of Practice at the McGill University Institute for the Study of International Development. He focuses on the use of next-generation open innovation approaches (e.g. crowdsourcing, innovation prizes, and open IP) to realize next-generation human rights (e.g. the economic rights to food, water, and health). He has recently pioneered a number of social innovation concepts backed by the international community, with launches by the heads of state of the UK, Australia, and Canada, with total funding of $110+M, aimed at making a large dent in problems affecting over a billion poor people.
He previously led the international development and education programs at the X PRIZE Foundation, an innovation group funded by the founders of Google and Facebook that awards $10+ million incentive prizes to teams that achieve targeted “radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.” He founded X PRIZE’s operations in India, and worked with WFP, the Indian Prime Minister’s Office, the UN Secretary General, and others. He co-authored the DFID-funded “Prize-Driven Innovation for Development,” the leading and pioneering study in the field.
As a human rights lawyer at the New York City-based Center for Constitutional Rights, working alongside activists and community groups, he won a string of victories in high profile and improbable cases. He represented the student leaders of Tiananmen Square against the ex-Premier of China, helped win a $4 billion judgment on behalf of victims of the Bosnian genocide against Radovan Karadzic, helped represent the family of Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in a landmark corporations and human rights suit against Royal Dutch Shell ($15M settlement), freed a man from death row in Indiana, and as the fifteenth lawyer to take up the case, hunted through the toughest prisons of New York for the real killer and helped exonerate a man named David Wong who has served over a decade of a life sentence for murder.
As a scholar, he has written articles in top peer-reviewed international human rights law reference journals and books, including those published by the Oxford University Press. As an entrepreneur, he has co-founded a venture-funded Internet company with current seven-figure revenues. He is a published creative writer, having served as an editor of a book published by McSweeney’s, and written a short story in an anthology that collectively won the American Book Award. He has also worked at McKinsey. He holds a JD and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia and completed a BA and one year of medical school at Brown. He hopes to creatively effect large-scale and just social change.