24 Jan 2024 17:30 - 19:00 McCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge


The Next Billion Users: Internet Justice and the Global South
Professor Payal Arora (Utrecht University)

Our digital worlds have largely been dictated by the values, needs, concerns, and aspirations of users in the West. But what about the rest of the world? Cheap mobile phones and data plans are bringing the next billion users online – often young people from the global south who are fast coming online for the first time and who engage with the internet in ways that we are currently failing to capture. Today, India and China make up for the majority of users in the world today, pushing us to rethink what the normative is in the digital realm. How do we do justice in representing the next billion users’ voices in the design of platforms and policies? How do we account for their diverse socio-economic and political contexts with technologies that scale globally? This talk maps double standards in digital inclusive approaches, value tensions, and debunks common myths about users from the Global South.

Professor Payal Arora

Payal Arora is a Professor of Inclusive AI Cultures at Utrecht University, and Co-Founder of FemLab, a feminist future of work initiative. She is a digital anthropologist, TEDx speaker, and author of award-winning books including ‘The Next Billion Users’ with Harvard Press. Her upcoming book, ‘From Pessimism to Promise: Lessons from the Global South on Designing Inclusive Tech” is with MIT Press and Harper Collins India. Her areas of expertise include global digital cultures, inequality, cross-cultural AI ethics, and development of inclusive designs. About 150 international media outlets have covered her work including the BBC, The Economist, Quartz, Tech Crunch, The Boston Globe, F.A.Z, The Nation and CBC. Forbes named her the “next billion champion” and the “right kind of person to reform tech.” She has consulted for numerous organizations including Adobe, UNHCR, GE, HP, Interpol, UNDP, Spotify, and many others and is a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency Alumnus. She currently lives in Amsterdam.

The Boutwood Lectures
Marking Forty Years On • Women of Corpus

The Boutwood Lectures in Lent Term 2024 mark forty years since Corpus Christi first admitted women as undergraduates. Three leading academics have been invited to deliver lectures exploring the future from the perspective of their research, and in relation to issues of public concern, specifically those of justice, diversity, inclusion, discrimination, and freedom.

Other talks in this series

Women and Conspiracy: Experiments with Paranoid Knowledges – 7 February 2024
Professor Clare Birchall (King’s College London)

Click here to register

The Future of Reproduction – 13 March 2024
Professor Sarah Franklin (University of Cambridge)

Click here to register

Please note this event is organised by Corpus Christi College. For more information, visit corpus.cam.ac.uk/events

Cambridge Digital Humanities

Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk