Payal Arora PhD

Associate Professor

Biographical Note

Payal Arora is an Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Founder and Executive Director of Catalyst Lab, a center that reignites relations between academia, industry and the public via innovative social media campaigns. Much of her research work focuses on digital economies and cultures in the global South and new media activism. 

She is the 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, 2014; Winner of the EUR Fellowship Award), and Poor@Play: Digital Life beyond the West (in contract with Harvard University Press). She is the co-editor of Crossroads in New media, Identity & Law: The Shape of Diversity to Come (Palgrave, 2015). Her paper on digitization of information won the 2010 Best Paper Award in Social Informatics by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). She has published over forty papers in her field and has given more than 90 presentations in 56 cities and 22 countries. She has been invited to speak by several prestigious universities and organizations such as UNESCO, World Public Forum, Max Planck, Annenberg, Berkeley, Cornell, Duke, and Kings College London.

Arora sits on several boards including The Earth Institute Columbia University’s Connect to Learn, Technology, Knowledge & Society Association, The South Asian Media, Arts & Culture Research Center in University of North Texas and The World Women Global Council in New York. She has held Fellow positions at NYU Steinhardt, General Electric, and Rio’s Institute of Technology and Society. She has degrees from Harvard University (Masters in International Policy) and Columbia University (Doctorate in Language, Literacy & Technology) and a Teaching Certification from the University of Cambridge.