Payal Arora on Researching and Designing with the Global South

For episode 22 of the podcast, I was joined by my Adobe colleague Laura Herman, a user researcher for some of our mobile and emerging products in the creative space. As Laura and I are big fans of her work, we were excited to speak to Payal Arora, researcher, author, professor, and speaker. Her well-known book ‘The Next Billion Users – Digital Life Beyond the West‘ has been described as, “A ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in digital uses around the world.”  We were interested in asking her thoughts on how western companies like our own can more effectively research and design products that truly benefit ‘Global South’ (i.e. developing countries like India, Brazil, and African to name a few.) Payal’s thoughts on how we can co-design with local influencers, how western designers need to be passionate about creating inclusive products, and how truly radical products aren’t always the most novel, were truly inspiring.

Forbes named Payal the “next billion champion” and “the right kind of person to reform tech.” She has given more than 200 talks in 109 cities in 59 countries and a TEDx talk on the future of the internet. She is the co-founder of FemLab.Co, a global future of work initiative Payal is a professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

More about Payal Arora:


Musical credit: Poddington Bear

Share this episode