Media Articles

June 15, 2020/ ScrollStack: White saviors are here to stay (critique of Rutger Bregman’s article on ‘the real lord of the flies’)

June 13, 2020/ NRC Handelsblad (Dutch) Op-ed piece: Altijd maar weer die witte redders

May 14, 2020/ FAZ (German): Facebook is laying 37,000 kilometers of submarine cables around Africa

May 5, 2020/ Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Foundation for Social Democracy): Technology for a social cause: TikTok and Asia’s mobile-first nations

Mar 25, 2020/ Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Foundation for Social Democracy): Digital Justice for the Next Billion

Mar 24, 2020/ Sight & Life magazine: Nudging the Next Billion

Mar 13, 2020/ Interview with Quartz India article, Inside the Chinese dating apps exploiting the loneliness of India’s men

Feb 23, 2020/ CIO magazine, Diversity darf kein Hindernis sein [German]

Jan 23, 2020/ Reviewed by D+C (Development & Cooperation magazine), No level playing field

Dec 1, 2019/ The Hindu: Traversing in an Emerging Field

Nov 24, 2019/ Interview with The Telegraph on the Next Billion and the rise of Irrational Design

Nov 5, 2019/ Op-Ed in Quartz on ‘The biggest myths about the next billion internet users’

Sept 7, 2019/ Beware of social media! Publication in Esakal (the most popular Marathi magazine) on the impact of the ‘Next Billion Users’ in rethinking social media.

Aug 26, 2019/ Forbes named Payal Arora the “Next Billion champion” as one of the key people to change tech in their article ‘10,000 People In Copenhagen Are About To Determine A Better Future For You’

Aug 11, 2019/ Africa Development news interview on the Next Billion Users

Aug 8, 2019/ iRights interview on the Next Billion users (German)

Aug 1, 2019/ YourStory interview: Why digital benefits need to be balanced with data privacy

July 27, 2019/ Engaget Book review: Hitting the Books: Modern surveillance and ‘the science of happiness’

July 24, 2019/ Strategy + Business Book Review: A new view of the fortune at the bottom of the digital pyramid

July 7, 2019/ Mag.de (German) Interview on book: What if social media belonged to the user?

July 7, 2019/ El Confidential (Spanish) Interview on book: Why do they use the internet in poor countries? Same reasons as we do.

June 24, 2019/ Imperica Op-ed piece: Can Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Libra empower the unbanked billions?

June 21, 2019/ NRC Handelsblad (Dutch) Op-ed piece: Facebook, be honest about your ambitions.

June 8, 2019/ The Economist review: How the pursuit of leisure drives internet use

May 14, 2019/ The Nation Book Review: The Race for Global Internet Access Is Not a Zero-Sum Game: Payal Arora’s The Next Billion Users turns a critical eye to the humanitarian push to connect the globe.

May 1, 2019/ Penguin India Book review: Busted! 8 Myths about the Billion Internet Users that are you Need to Know.

May 10, 2019/ Digital Society Forum (French) Book Review: The next billion users: an immersion in the internet of the poor.

April 21, 2019/ NRC Handelsblad (Dutch) Interview: The biggest misconceptions about how the next billion internet users spend their screen time.

March 6, 2019/ De Standaard (Dutch) Interview: That the poor use the internet primarily for entertainment? So what?

March 7, 2019/ Erasmus Magazine interview: People in developing countries want to do the exact same things we do on the Internet: listen to music and watch porn.

March 8, 2019/ Tech Crunch interview: Who are the next billion users and what do they want?

March 27, 2019/ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung FAZ Edition: Now the next billion users are online (German)

March 22, 2019/ Engineering & Technology Magazine (E&T) Book review: An uncomfortable challenge to the West’s collective superiority complex that questions the way we see technology in the connected world.

March 21, 2019/ Times Higher Education New and Noteworthy Review: Phone habits of the developing world; the cult of the cute; problems on the home front; game theories; and beggar thy neighbor.

Feb 23, 2019/ Vrij Nederland Interview: In poorer countries, people are not only online to improve their lives, they also want to watch porn (Dutch)

Jan, 2019/ BREAKER Interview: The Next Billion Tech Users are just like the rest of us.

Jan, 2019/ The Boston Globe Interview: The global poor go online for the same reasons you do by


Mar, 2015/ Deutsche Welle’s documentary Life Links Interview (German): Why a mobile tech revolution needs teachers


Sept, 2014/ National Public Radio (NPR) Interview by Anya Kamenetz on the Global Learning X-Prize: A 15 Million dollars space race for education


Dec, 2012/ EM.Online article on Receiving an Education Online where I was mentioned as one of the “best professors” for the Universiteit van Nederland initiative

Oct, 2012/ EM Newsletter article on Cross-discipline collaboration at ESHCC with Filip Vermeylen on new media and the art world


Aug, 2011/ Imperica (part of Perini Publications) Interview with Oxford-based UK transmedia company: Common Ground.


July 4, 2010/ Interview by Dr. Janelle Ward in The Broker: Discussion on the Hole-in-the-Wall initiative


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