Brief Bio:

Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and Author, Consultant, Founder, Editor, and Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She holds the Chair in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures at the Erasmus Faculty of Philosophy. Her expertise lies in digital media and user experiences among low-income communities worldwide and comes with more than a decade of fieldwork experience in such contexts. She is the author of a number of books including the award-winning ‘Leisure Commons’ and most recently the “The Next Billion Users” with Harvard Press. Engadget (Top 5 in the ‘Technorati top 100’ and Times endorsed ‘best blogs on tech’) stated that her Harvard book is “the most interesting, thought provoking books on science and technology we can find.” Forbes named her as the “next billion champion” and the right kind of person to reform tech. Several international media outlets have covered her work including the BBC, The Economist, Quartz, Tech Crunch, The Boston Globe, F.A.Z, The Nation and CBC. She has consulted on tech innovation for diverse organizations such as UNESCO, KPMG, GE, and HP and has given more than 165 presentations in 102 cities in 52 countries including a TEDx talk on the future of the internet. She is the founder of Catalyst Lab, a digital activism organization and sits on several boards such as Facebook SS1 Asia Committee, Columbia Univ. Earth Institute and World Women Global Council in New York. She has held Fellow positions for several organizations including GE, ZEMKI, ITSRio, and NYU. She is a Section Editor for Global Perspectives, a new University of California Press journal. She was born in India, is also American and Irish and lives in Amsterdam. She considers herself a global citizen.

Journals, Chapters & Editorials (56)

38/56 single-authored publications
Digital Users, Media Cultures and Tech for ‘Good’ (20)
Big Data, Privacy & Inequality (12)
Geographies of the Internet (7)
Digital Literacies and Technologies for Informal Learning (11)
Digital Cultures, Cultural Industries and Globalization (6)

56. Arora, P. (in process). The Next Billion Users ‘hard play’ in the Leisure economy, Graham, M & Ferrari, F. ''Digital Work in the Planetary Market,' MIT Press.

55. Arora, P. (in process). AI futures and the global good. Oxford University Press.

54. Storchak, I., & Arora, P. (in review). The Global Impact of the General Data Protection Regulation. Internet Policy Review

53. Mühlbach, S., & Arora, P. (in review). Behind the Music: How Labor changed for Musicians through the Subscription Economy, Journal of Popular Communication

52. König. R. & Arora,P. (revise & resubmit). Imagining the diversity algorithm: Approaches to computational injustice and their challenges. Big Data & Society [open access]

51. Arora, P. (Forth). Nudging the next billion, Sight & Life Magazine

50. Arora. P. (Forth). Leisure platforms, politics and people: In M. Doueihi (Ed) Digital Cultures, Hermann. [download PDF of draft]

49. Arora, P. (2019). GDPR - a global standard? Privacy futures, digital activism and surveillance cultures in the Global South. Surveillance & Society [open access]

48. Arora, P. (2019). The Next Billion User market: Ten novel thought habits to reach the new market, KPMG Annual Media & Entertainment Report 2019 [download full report]

47. Arora, P. (2019). Re-imagining Digital Leisure Networks through Global Cities: A Metaphorical Journey LOGOS: A Philosophical and Literary Journal [translated into Russian]

46. Arora, P. (2019). Benign dataveillance? Examining novel data-driven governance systems in India and China. In P. Arora and S. Hallam (eds) Special Issue: Data-Driven Models Of Governance Across Borders: datafication from the local to the global, First Monday [open access]

45. Arora, P. & Hallam, S. (Eds.) (2019). Introduction to Special Issue:Data-Driven Models Of Governance Across Borders: datafication from the local to the global , First Monday [open access]

44. Arora, P. (2019). Politics of algorithms, Indian citizenship and the colonial legacy, In A. Punathambekar & S. Mohan (eds) Digital South Asia. University of Michigan Press. [download PDF of draft]

43. Arora, P. (2019). Border-making and the Oromo movement using social media. In K. Smets, K. Leurs, M. Georgiou, S. Witteborn and R. Gajjala (Eds), Handbook of Media and Migration, Sage. [download PDF of draft]

42. Arora, P. (2018). Decolonizing privacy studies. In Milan, S., & Treré, E. (Eds) Special Issue Big Data from the South: Beyond Data Universalism, Television and New Media (download PDF)

41. Arora, P. (2018). Revival of the colonial project in the datafied society. Internet beyond global networks blog.

40. Thompson, H. L., & Arora, P. (2018). Crowdsourcing as a platform for digital labor unions, International Journal of Communication [open access]

39. Arora, P., & Scheiber, L. (2017). Slumdog romance: Facebook love and digital privacy at the margins, Media, Culture & Society [open access]

38. Arora, P. (2016). Bottom of the data pyramid: Big data and the global South, International Journal of Communication [open access]

37. Arora, P. (2016). Prizes for innovation: Impact analysis in the ICTs for Education sector, UN Report [download PDF]

36. Arora, P. (2015). Bottom of the data pyramid: Big data and the global South, Discover Society [open access]

35. Arora, P. (2015). Facebook and the digital romance economy: Courtship, scams, and internet regulation in the global South, London School of Economics Impact blog [open access]

34. Arora, P. (2015). The Leisure Factory: Production in the Digital Age, LOGOS: A Philosophical and Literary Journal, 25(3), 105-115. [translated into Russian]

33. Arora. P. (2015). Web 2.0 (and Beyond). In Peng Hwa Ang, Robin Mansell (Eds) The International Encyclopedia of digital communication and society. Encyclopedia of Communication Series. Wiley-Blackwell. [download PDF]

32. Arora, P. (2015). What is the role of social media in the Oromo social movement? OPride magazine [open access]

31. Rangaswamy, N., & Arora, P. (2015). The Mobile Internet in the Wild and Every Day: Digital Leisure in the Slums of Urban India. International Journal of Cultural Studies [download PDF]

30. Arora, P., & Rangaswamy, N. (2015). Digital romance and the Indian city. The City & South Asia, Harvard South Asia Institute. [open access]

29. Arora. P. & Rangaswamy, N. (Guest Editors). (2014). Special Issue: ICTs for Leisure in Development: A case for Motivation, Exploration and Play. Information Technologies & International Development  [open access]

28. Gladysheva, D., Verboom, J., & Arora, P. (2014). The Art Tube: Strategies, perceptions and outcomes of museums’ online video portals. Digital Culture & Education  [open access]

27. Arora, P. (2014). Usurping Public Leisure Space for Protest: Social activism in the digital and material commons .Space and Culture  [download PDF]

26. Arora, P., & Rangaswamy, N. (2013). Digital leisure for development: Rethinking new media practices from the global south. Media Culture & Society   [download PDF]

25. Sedeke, K., & Arora, P. (2013). Top ranking fashion blogs and their role in the current fashion industry,First Monday  [open access]

24. Verboom, J., & Arora, P. (2013). Museum 2.0: A study into the culture of expertise within the museum blogosphere. First Monday  [open access]

23. Arora, P., & Vermeylen, F. (2013). The end of the art connoisseur? Experts and knowledge production in the visual arts in the digital age. Information, Communication & Society  [download PDF]

22. Arora, P., & Vermeylen, F. (2013).  Digitization of Art markets .In Christian Handke & Ruth Towse (Eds.),'Handbook of the Digital Creative Economy'. Edward Elgar Publishing [download PDF]

21. Arora, P. (2012): Is the doctor on? In Search for Users of Rural Medical Diagnostic Software in Central Himalayas,Development in Practice  [download PDF]

20. Arora, P.  (2012). Leisure divide: Can the Third World come out to play? Information Development [download PDF]

19. Arora. P. (2012): The folksong jukebox: Singing along for social change in rural India. Asian Journal of Communication [download PDF]

18. Arora, P. (2012): Your kool-aid is not my kool-aid: Ideologies on Microfinance within an INGO Culture, Development in Practice [download PDF]

17. Arora, P. (2012)Typology of Web 2.0 spheres: Understanding the cultural dimensions of social media spaces.Current Sociology  [download PDF]

16. Arora, P., & Itu, S. (2012). Arm chair activism: Serious games usage by INGOs for educational change.International Journal of Game-Based Learning  [download PDF]

15. Arora. P. (2011). Online social sites as virtual parks: An investigation into leisure online and offline. The Information Society. [download PDF]

14. Arora, P. & Matthew Kam from Carnegie Mellon. (Guest Editors). (2011). Special Issue theme: New Media, Informal Learning, and Social Change, Global Media Journal [open access]

13. Arora, P. (2010). Digital Gods: The making of a medical fact for rural diagnostic software The Information Society [download PDF]

12. Arora. P. (2010). Hope-in-the-Wall? A promise of free learning, British Journal of Educational Technology. [download PDF]

11. Arora, P & Mitra, S. (2010). Afterthoughts: Dialogue between Sugata Mitra and Payal Arora, British Journal of Educational Technology  [download PDF]

10. Arora, P. (2010). Copycats of the Central Himalayas. Learning in the age of information. In Stewart Marshall & Wanjira Kinuthia (Eds.), Cases'n'Places: Global cases in educational technology. Information Age Publications. [download PDF]

9. Arora, P., & Panikkar, A.. (2010). The Ramadan controversy: Dilemmas in negotiating Media Discourses post Iranian Uprising. In Yahya R. Kamalipour (Ed.), Media, Power, and Politics in the Digital Age: The 2009 Presidential Election Uprising in Iran. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. (download PDF)

8. Kaun, K., & Arora, P. (2010). Global Education Greenhouse: Constructing and Organizing Online Global Knowledge. In Siran Mukerji & Purnendu Tripathi (Eds.), Cases in technological adaptability and transnational learning: Issues and challenges.( IGI Global Publications) [download PDF]

7. Arora. P. (2008). Instant messaging Shiva, flying taxis, Bil Klinton and more: Children’s narratives from rural India.International Journal of Cultural Studies [download PDF]

6. Arora, P. (2008). Evaluating online dialogue on 'security,' Electronic Journal of e-Learning  [open access]

5. Arora, P. (2008). Perspectives of schooling through karaoke: A metaphorical analysis. Education Philosophy and Theory Journal [download PDF]

4. Arora, P . (2007). The ICT Laboratory: An analysis of computers in schools in rural India, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education Journal  [download PDF]

3. Arora, P. (2006). Karaoke for social and cultural change, Information, Communication & Ethics in Society Journal [download PDF].

2. Arora, P. (2006). The poor don’t need another prophet: A people-centered approach to microfinance & education in Bolivia, Society of International Education, 4, Teachers College Press. [download PDF]

1. Arora, P. (2005). Profiting from empowerment? Critique on dissemination avenues of educational technology content within an emerging market. International Journal of Education & Development using ICT, 1(4)  [open access]




Magazine Articles

(2004). Private property. Haight Ashbury Journal, 1(1), 17-21.

(2003). Train-tracks. Diversity and Distinction Magazine. Harvard University Student Press.

(2003). Belize. Gamut Magazine. Harvard University Student Press.

(2003). Old Tune. Gamut Magazine. Harvard University Student Press.


(2001)Sales Training Manual for Junior Consultants. Chalk & Vermilion Publishing.

(1994) Kerala Poetry