Born in India, Payal Arora moved to the US where she studied technology and development at Harvard and Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning books "Leisure Commons" and more recently "The Next Billion Users" (Harvard Press), which won the 2019 PROSE award by the American Publishers Association under the Business category.

She has consulted on tech innovation in emerging markets including for UNESCO, GE, and HP and has given 150 talks in 85 cities in 35 countries including at TEDx. She lives in Amsterdam and is a Professor and Chair in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures at Erasmus University Rotterdam.