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UX Research and Global Tech Design

UX Research and Global Tech Design

Design for the next billion users

The Global Tech Design and the Future of Work expert practice emerged as a concerted response to the growing demand from design and tech companies to expand their user markets beyond the West. Additionally, there’s mounting pressure from governments and civic entities to build inclusive and responsible technologies, with a special focus on the future of work. The initiative was kickstarted in 2020 with seed funding from the International Development Research Centre, a Canadian grant agency, to co-found FemLab—an initiative focused on feminist futures of work. Since its inception, FemLab has collaborated closely with diverse public and private stakeholders to conduct user-experience studies in Brazil, India, Bangladesh, and Namibia. The initiative has developed toolkits and campaigns on fostering inclusive designs in an AI-driven age.

Our team consists of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners from around the world, including digital anthropologists, computational experts, designers, and legal experts. FemLab’s close collaborators include members from organisations like Justice Adda—a design+law social venture, Adobe, Soteryx—a Risk, Resilience and Engagement company, UNHCR Innovation Services, and the Harambee Youth Accelerator Programme in Kenya.

Next Billion Ready

Professor Payal Arora, named the ‘next billion champion’ and ‘the right kind of person to reform tech’ by Forbes, along with her team, is committed to advising corporations, aid agencies, thinktanks, and design companies on preparing for the ascendancy of the next billion user markets – those outside the West –  who will shape the future trends in AI and innovation. Our current focus is in the areas of emerging AI and the future of work, creativity, cross-cultural AI ethics, and inclusive and responsible design.


Prof. Payal Arora

Professor of Technology, Value and Global Media Cultures at ESP & Expert Practice Director of UX Research and Global Tech Design

Current Projects Using our Expertise.

FINDR (2022-2025) Horizon EU grant project: Mitigating discrimination in AI-enabled recruitment software through innovative methods, such as generating semi-synthetic debiased datasets for partners such as Randstad.

PWILL Cost Action (2023-2025) project: Platform Work Inclusion Living Lab addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with digital platform work and explores ways to ensure fair and inclusive practices in this emerging sector.

Testimonials from our Stakeholders

I invited Dr. Arora to join the Soteryx Corp. Advisory Board. In this capacity, she serves as an advisor alongside leaders from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Navy Seals, and Department of Defense Advisory Board. I selected Dr. Arora for her reputation in using technology to drive data-informed innovation across governance, technology, and public policy. Dr. Arora acts as a catalyst, helping well-established, settled organisations in transitioning from creating policies derived from traditional ‘gut feelings’ to embracing actionable insights derived from data-driven analytics.” Shaun D. Wiggins, President & CEO, Soteryx Corp.

Time and again, I find myself reaching out to Payal to gain deeper insights into the complex relationships between consumers, cultures, and businesses in the Global South. Whether collaborating on a panel topic together for an event or digging into specific markets and challenges, Payal has that rare ability to connect the highly nuanced needs of people and their communities with the potential impact of technology, business, and design. She continues to be a trusted partner and advisor.” – Charles Hayes, Partner & Executive Managing Director, Asia, IDEO


  • Somto Mbelu (Next Billion Users, Nigeria Universal Healthcare and Mobile platform Design)
  • Pallavi Bansal (Next Billion users, Gig Economy in India and Ethical /Responsible Design)
  • Renza Iqbal (Privacy, next billion users, and Feminist Design in rural India)
  • Dr. Amanda Paz Alencar (Migrants UX, Mobile platforms and Data Justice)