Our strength is in our diverse and international team that includes media professionals, scholars, artists, interns, and renowned academic and corporate mentors who work closely with your organization to bring your social debate to life!

Payal Arora

Founder and Executive Director

Payal Arora

Founder and Executive Director

A product of India but was shipped off to San Francisco in her early years. Instead of starting her own Hare Krishna club, she made the less lucrative decision to sell art with the right mix of wine and cheap cheese, thankfully interrupted by her love affair with New York where she stumbled into research. In came her passion for culture, technology and communication which she pursued by accumulating some good old ivy degrees from Harvard and Columbia University so she could say stuff like ‘I went to school in Boston’. Since then, she has been publishing books on digital media, play, and social activism particularly in emerging markets with Ashgate, Routledge, Palgrave and Harvard University Press. She has done numerous consulting and speaking gigs for organizations worldwide such as GE, Shell, Sotheby’s, hp, WorldBank, Dutch Brewers, Jordan’s Chamber of Commerce, and Museum Folkwang. She sits on several boards including the Technology, Knowledge & Society Association, Earth Institute, South Asian Media, Arts & Culture Research Center in University of North Texas and World Women Global Council in New York and has Fellow positions at NYU and Rio’s Institute of Technology and Society. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Media and Communication Department at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Bob Maclaren

Film Director & Digital storyteller

Bob Maclaren

Film Director & Digital storyteller

Born in New Zealand and resident in Amsterdam, Bob Maclaren has delighted every corner of the world with his laconic and surprising comedy. A combination of kiwi isolation and the lurid madness of Amsterdam gives Bob a refreshingly unusual view of life as he sees it. A storyteller extraordinaire with a body language that can be best described as mildly unhinged; his routines have been televised on every continent. A superbly visual performer with razor sharp observations, Bob’s stand up helped him escape his home town southernmost city in the world to grace the stages of Montreal, London, Amsterdam and every other corner of the planet. His comic talents quickly got picked up by the Discovery channel, who gave him his own global show “Bob’s World”. TV New Zealand followed suit with the comedy drama series “The Pretender” with Bob in the lead role as the politically misguided Dennis Plant. This legendary role earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the New Zealand Film and TV Awards. Bob has directed hundreds of episodes of television, from documentaries to comedies, adventure, animation, mocumentaries and studio programs.

Arjun Appadurai

Senior Academic Advisor

Arjun Appadurai

Senior Academic Advisor

Arjun Appadurai is Goddard Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University and Honorary Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University. He is an internationally recognized authority on globalization, media and socio-cultural theory as well as on contemporary India. He has served as an adviser to numerous international organizations including the UN, the World Bank and the Ford Foundation. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of more than a dozen books and a hundred articles of which the most recent is The Future as Cultural Fact (Verso, 2013) and a forthcoming book is Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance (Chicago, 2016). Prof. Appadurai has a special interest in problems that bridge the areas of media, design and the public sphere.

Padraig Tobin

Senior Business Advisor

Padraig Tobin

Senior Business Advisor

Born in Ireland, Padraig Tobin spent much of his early career in a dark corner playing with itty-bitty bytes, but eventually took a tragic turn and ended up in management. After accidentally founding an international software company and wandering around Columbia and Harvard for a while, Padraig now runs Errigal, a telecommunications software company based in San Francisco. When he is not on a bike or a plane, Padraig pretends to be a musician and bribes real musicians to play with him offering free beer and pizza. He brings to the table his entrepreneurial and financial expertise and his love of crazy ideas that can make a difference.

Vidhi Chaudhri

Public Relations Specialist

Vidhi Chaudhri

Public Relations Specialist

Born in India and currently residing in the Netherlands, Vidhi was intent on an academic career in history until see saw the ‘light’ that led her toward communication studies. There has been no looking back since! After several years of a solid grounding in public relations consulting for high profile IT companies, the ‘academic at heart’ decided to go back to graduate school and learn more about PR and then some. Her quest led her to secure master and doctoral degrees in communication from Purdue University in the United States, and made her a firm believer in the importance of research for good practice. Whether it is researching, teaching, or writing business cases on crisis management, reputation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and social/new media, the guiding principle is to bridge the fields of research and praxis. Vidhi has published journal articles, book chapters, and industry reports, and her ongoing research on CSR in India also takes the form of collaborative business cases with Indian and global firms (e.g., IBM on engaging employees in CSR; ITC on creating shared value; ArcelorMittal on multi-stakeholder partnerships for CSR). Her forthcoming book addresses the multifaceted influence on new/social media on communication. After a year-long faculty stint at India’s premier management institute (Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad), Vidhi is assistant professor in Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Filip Vermeylen

Art Markets Specialist

Filip Vermeylen

Art Markets Specialist

Growing up in Antwerp, with its bustling port and rich cultural past, triggered his interest in the interplay between commerce and the arts. Why do some cities develop into hubs of artistic innovation and cultural centers? When did the art trade become such a global phenomenon, and how is the internet changing the way we experience and value art? His quest to find an answer to these tantalizing questions has taken him to New York for his studies, to Mumbai and Delhi for fieldwork and Rotterdam for a job, and continues to drive Filip’s research and teaching. He often engages with arts organizations, and has been an invited speaker at among other The Metropolitan Museum, White Cube Gallery in London, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and the National Museum of Art in Tokyo. He is currently Professor of Global Art Markets at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication in Rotterdam.

Monika Hlubinová

Web programming assistant

Monika Hlubinová

Web programming assistant

Monika is a Slovakian with an adventurous spirit who hardly backs down before any challenge. After completing a secondary bilingual study she decided that travelling was THE thing to do and accidentally ended up in the Netherlands. She recently obtained a BSc. degree in Communication and Media at Erasmus University and is currently finishing her Master in Media and Business. As a proper Gemini, her duality makes her interested in anything and everything at all times. She speaks 5 foreign and 2 computer languages, is at home with numerous software programs and is a quick learner. Over the years, she gained experience in research, communications, social media, customer service and graphic/web design by working on various high-profile projects. By combining communication theories with web design, she aims to deliver high-quality product that fits any campaign.

Catalyst Interns

Adlan Belkada

Video production assistant

Denisa Fidlerová

Social media coordinator

Yanniek van Dooren

Social media coordinator

Osman Akin

Social media coordinator

Fay Goijarts

Social media coordinator

Catalyst Board

Christine Barber

Director of Research for Industry & Practice, Gensler Architectural Firm, NYC

Shaun Wiggins

Executive Lead Global Public Relations General Electric, NYC

Michael Woolcock

Lead Social Development Specialist, World Bank & Lecturer, Harvard University

Karen Kaun

Founder & Executive Director of Makeosity, NYC

Cees Jan Adema

Director of Dutch Brewers Association, The Netherlands

Nimmi Rangaswamy

Senior Research Scientist, Xerox Research Labs & former Microsoft Research Scientist

William Seaman

Media Researcher & Artist & Professor at Duke University, USA

Rajeev Kumar

General Manager, Learning & Development, Tata group Corp Comm, India