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Research interests

Payal Arora is a **Full Professor** **and Chair in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures** at the Erasmus School of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is the **Founder and Executive Director** of a digital activism organization, [Catalyst Lab][]. She is a **digital anthropologist** and **author** of several books including *Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas* (Ashgate, 2010), *The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0* (Routledge, 2015; Winner of the EUR Fellowship Award), and, *The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West* (Harvard University Press, 2019). She is the co-editor of *Crossroads in New Media, Identity & Law: The Shape of Diversity to Come* (Palgrave, 2015). Much of her **research** focuses on digital cultures, global inequality and data governance in the Global South. She has published over 50 papers in her field and has given 165 presentations in 102 cities in 52 countries, including a [TEDx talk on the future of the internet.][] Her work has been extensively covered by numerous **global media outlets** including The Economist, NRC, The Nation, BBC, NDTV-India, F.A.Z, De Standaard, Tech Crunch, Quartz, CBC, Salon, and Vrij Nederland. Forbes called her the **“next billion champion”** and the right kind of person to change tech. She has **consulted** for both the public and private sector including hp, KPMG, Dutch Brewers, GE, and UNESCO. Her **teaching** has been recognized through a number of best teacher nominations and awards including the prestigious [University Education Prize in 2017.][] Arora sits on several **boards/advisory committees** such as the Facebook Social Science One, Columbia University Earth Institute’s Connect to Learn, Technology, Knowledge & Society Association, Soteryx, Makeosity, and The World Women Global Council in New York. She was a **Columnist** for the [Erasmus Magazine][] (2017-2019) and is the Media and Communication **Section Editor** for the *Global Perspective* Journal, a University of California Press journal. She has held **Fellow positions** at NYU Steinhardt, GE, Rio’s Institute of Technology and Society and ZeMKI at the University of Bremen. She has **degrees** from Harvard University (Masters in International Development Policy) and Columbia University (Doctorate in Language, Literacy & Technology) and a Teaching Certification from the University of Cambridge. [Catalyst Lab]: http://www.catalyst-lab.org/ [TEDx talk on the future of the internet.]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiQa78tgbMk&t=105s [University Education Prize in 2017.]: https://www.facebook.com/ErasmusUniversity/videos/1581059295249288/ [Erasmus Magazine]: https://www.erasmusmagazine.nl/en/persons/payal-arora/

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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