Payal Arora keynote speaker
Payal Arora keynote speaker

Payal Arora

Author, The Next Billion Users

Speaker Themes

  • The next billion [internet] users
  • The future of the internet
  • Technology and emerging markets
  • Ethical AI
  • User experience
  • Women and technology
  • Technology and diversity
  • Consumer trends

Travels from

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and author, speaker, founder and Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Her expertise lies in digital media and user experiences among low-income communities in the global south, 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 (EUR Fellowship award) and most recently, The Next Billion Users: digital life beyond the West (PROSE2019 Award) with Harvard Press.

Engadget (Top 5 in the ‘Technorati top 100’) stated that The Next Billion Users is among “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 Payal’s work including the BBC, The Economist, Tech Crunch, The Boston Globe, F.A.Z, The Nation and CBC.

She has consulted on tech innovation for diverse organisations such as UNESCO, KPMG, GE, and HP and has given about 200 talks in 54 countries including a TEDx talk on the future of the internet.

Payal is the founder of Catalyst Lab, a digital activism organisation, and sits on several boards such as Facebook SS1 Asia Committee, Columbia Univ. Earth Institute and World Women Global Council in New York.

She was born in India, is also American and Irish and lives in Amsterdam. She considers herself a global citizen.

For information about Payal Arora’s speaking topics and availability, contact


Payal’s cutting-edge research uncovers fascinating trends and debunks many popular myths about how the internet is used in the “emerging” world.

Her insights are critical for any organisation seeking to understand the future of the internet and global consumer trends.

Contact us about Payal Arora