Platform for City Culture and Public Debate


No Place to Hide

w/ Marleen Stikker and Payal Arora

Date: 10 September 2020
Location: Theater Hofplein

The Covid-19 pandemic has imposed, and will continue to impose, drastic changes in how we work and live. But whilst the long-term implications remain uncertain, it is already clear that it is accelerating some existing economic trends. Perhaps most striking is the exponential growth of the data economy, and, with it, the rapid expansion of the digital giants who dominate it. So what are the implications? How is the rise of the data economy transforming our democracies, societies and cities? What are the mechanisms, interests and power dynamics behind modern day surveillance capitalism? And how do issues of online privacy, digital tracking and data governance manifest themselves beyond the West?


Marleen Stikker

Marleen Stikker is founder and managing director of Waag, a social enterprise in Amsterdam that consists of a research institute for creative technologies and social innovation, and Waag Products, that launched companies like Fairphone, the first fair smartphone in the world. She is also founder of ‘De Digitale Stad’ (The Digital City) in 1993, the first virtual community introducing free public access to the Internet in Amsterdam. She is the author of the 2019 book Het Internet is Stuk (The Internet is Bust).

Payal Arora

Payal Arora is a Full Professor and Chair in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures at the Erasmus School of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is a digital anthropologist and author of several books including Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas, The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0, and, The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West. Much of her research focuses on digital cultures, global inequality and data governance in the Global South.

Geert Maarse

Geert Maarse is a journalist and programme-maker. Having worked for Erasmus University for over five years, he is specialized in connecting scientific research to public debate. He has a background in Business Administration and Cultural Studies. He is the founder and regular host of Studio Erasmus, a monthly science magazine broadcasted by OPEN Rotterdam. He worked on a documentary and published in a number of online and offline media (de Volkskrant, Vers Beton, Erasmus Magazine).