prof.dr. (Payal) P Arora


Payal Arora is a Full Professor and Chair in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures and an Academic Director in UX and Inclusive Design at the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is the co-founder of FemLab, a feminist future of work initiative. Her expertise lies in cross-cultural values, inequality, and inclusive design, with a focus on the Global South. Trained in digital anthropology, she comes with two decades of fieldwork experience in unpacking how youth in resource-constrained contexts make sense of new digital tools in their everyday lives and how these insights can shape the design of responsible and equitable systems. Her research has been supported by funding organizations such as Horizon Europe (EUR PI on innovative ethnographic approaches to machine learning using synthetic datasets to reduce bias in AI recruitment tools in Europe), International Development Research Centre (Co-PI for how women workers in India, and Bangladesh learn to use gig platforms to connect, collectivize, and communicate), UNHCR (PI on how Venezuelan refugees in Brazil learn to become content creators and foster new livelihoods), various global design companies. (PI on how Gen Z in India learns to use metrics to create content and build followers for visibility and potential monetization). She is the author of award-winning books including the “Leisure Commons” (Routledge/ EUR fellowship award), and the latest “The Next Billion Users” with Harvard Press (2019 PROSE award Winner). Engadget stated that her Harvard book is one of “the most interesting, thought-provoking books on science and technology we can find.” Forbes named her the “next billion champion” and “the right kind of person to reform tech.” Several international media outlets have covered her work including the BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, Quartz, Tech Crunch, NRC, The Boston Globe, F.A.Z, The Nation and CBC. She engages on tech innovation and equity design with diverse organizations such as Adobe, Spotify, Google, UNESCO, KPMG, GE, UNHCR, and HP. She has given more than 300+ talks in 115 cities in 67 countries including TEDx talks on the future of the internet and frugal innovation. She sits on several boards such as Columbia University’s Earth Institute, World Women Global Council in New York, and the ICRIER Prosus Centre for Internet and Digital Economy. She has held Fellow positions at Bellagio Rockefeller, GE, ZEMKI, ITSRio, MICA, and NYU. She got her Masters at Harvard University in International Policy and her Doctorate at Columbia University in Language, Literacy and Technology.

[Catalyst Lab]: [TEDx talk on the future of the internet.]: [University Education Prize in 2017.]: [Erasmus Magazine]:

Erasmus School of Philosophy

Full professor | WP ESPhil
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam


  • P (Payal) Arora, A (Amanda) Paz Alencar & DM (Daniela) Jaramillo Dent (28 September 2021) - Breaking the cycle of ignorance: Prioritising refugees’ digital leisure and entertainment
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Book talk on 'Do the next billion users need more innovation? Rethinking automation for the common good,' Sponsored by United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society.
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Book talk on ‘The next billion users,’ at the ‘Nose in the Books’ bookstore, Sponsored by School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Book talk on ‘The next billion users,’ at the ACO bookstore, Sponsored by School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Book talk on ‘The next billion users,’ Sponsored by Global Asia research center, National Taiwan University.
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Book talk on disruptive innovation, Sponsored by Nanjang Technological University.
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Interview with The Hard Copy and Obvious Design Studio on The Fabulous Next Billion
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Interview with The Hindu on Traversing in an Emerging Field
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Interview with The Telegraph on the Next Billion and the rise of Irrational Design
  • Payal Arora (1 January 2019) - Interview on DW Akademie on Media Development at Bonn.

  • Payal Arora (2019) - Keynote on ‘Decolonizing privacy studies’
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Keynote on “The next billion users”
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Keynote at the Rethinking media development: New actors, new technologies and new strategies FoME Symposium 2019
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Speaker on ‘The next billion,’ Sponsored by Department of Media & Communication Studies, Södertörn University.
  • Payal Arora (2019) - fake news’ in the Asian context
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Above the law and below poverty: Digital activism and online publicity in the Global South
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Keynote
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Blue Sky Workshop: Global Perspectives: Rethinking boundaries in the Platformization era
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Oromo activism through Facebook and twitter
  • Payal Arora (2019) - Behind the Music: How labor changed for musicians through the Subscription Economy

News regarding prof.dr. (Payal) P Arora

How do you reach a billion new customers? 'By Listening To Them'

How can investors and entrepreneurs understand the new market of The Next Billion Users in Africa, Asia and South America? The FD interviewed professor Payal…

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