Prof. dr. Payal Arora

Media and Performance Studies

Payal Arora is a Professor of Inclusive AI Cultures at Utrecht University and Co-founder of FemLab, a feminist futures of work initiative. She is a digital anthropologist and comes with two decades of user experiences among low-income communities, especially in the Global South, to shape inclusive designs and policies. She is the author of award-winning books including 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 one of “the most interesting, thought-provoking books on science and technology we can find.” She has an upcoming book ‘From Pessimism to Promise: Lessons from the Global South on Designing Inclusive Tech” with MIT Press and Harper Collins India. Forbes named her the “next billion champion” and “the right kind of person to reform tech.” About 150 international media outlets have covered her work including The BBC, Het Financieele Dagblad, The Economist, Quartz, 99% Invisible, Tech Crunch, The Boston Globe, F.A.Z, The Nation and CBC. She has consulted on tech innovation and digital inclusion for diverse organizations such as IDEO, Adobe, Spotify, Google, UNESCO, KPMG, GE, UNHCR, and HP and has given more than 350+ talks in 115 cities in 67 countries alongside figures like Jimmy Wales and Steve Wozniak and TEDx talks on the future of the internet and 'Why we need less innovation.' She sits on several boards for organizations such as Soteryx (a NYC data security company), Columbia University’s Earth Institute and World Women Global Council in New York. She has held Fellow positions at GE, ZEMKI, ITSRio, MICA, and NYU and is a Rockefeller Bellagio Resident Alumnus. She has a MA in International Policy from Harvard University and a PhD in Language, Literacy and Technology from Columbia University. She is Indian, Irish, and American and currently lives in Amsterdam.

Feminist Futures of Work: Reimagining Labour in the Digital Economy (Amsterdam Univ. Press: Open access)

The Next Billion Users: Digital life Beyond the West. (Harvard Press)

The Leisure Commons. (On how metaphors architect our imagination of the internet) Taylor& Francis

Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas. Ashgate

Shape of Diversity to Come (Palgrave)
Inclusive AI Cultures