Gabo Arora

Gabo Arora is an immersive artist and professor.

Heralded by the LA times as "game-changing", immersive artist and filmmaker Gabo Arora's acclaimed virtual reality documentaries have all premiered as official selections at major film festivals around the world. Gabo is Founder and Creative Director of LightShed, a storytelling, technology and research studio collaborating with creative pioneers and entrepreneurs leading innovation in VR, AR and AI. He is also a professor at Johns Hopkins University, where he is the Founding Director of the new Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technologies (ISET) program and lab.

Gabo Arora’s work explores how new technologies can promote social causes and make decision-making processes more inclusive: the output of Gabo’s VR films raised over $1 billion in increased aid for refugees. His VR film Clouds Over Sidra, in partnership with UNICEF, is the most widely distributed and viewed social impact VR film globally.

Gabo was previously a Senior Economic Policy Advisor for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a UN diplomat with extensive field experience in disaster and conflict zones, and the United Nations' first-ever Creative Director. In this latter role, Gabo founded UNVR—a division of the UN focused on virtual reality initiatives and campaigns. Gabo is also a Davos World Economic Forum Arts and Cultural leader and was nominated for a term-membership at the Council on Foreign Relations by Francis Fukuyama.

Gabo's work has been awarded a Cannes Lions, a Sheffield Doc/Fest award for best documentary and has been featured in the New Yorker, the British Film Institute's Sight and Sound magazine, Fast Company, the New York Times, the Guardian, Vice News, Wired, NPR and PBS Newshour, as well as in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.


“In works like Clouds over Sidra and The Last Goodbye, Gabo Arora has established himself as one of VR’s modern masters, bringing a keen understanding of film language to politically charged work.”
— Scott Macaulay, Editor-in-Chief, Filmmaker magazine


Gabo regular speaks at events and conferences, including Oculus Connect, IDFA Doc Lab conference, Sheffield Doc/Fest, DLD, The Conference 

Watch Mike Butcher, editor-at-large of Tech Crunch chat with Gabo Aurora and Barry Pousman about how the United Nations is using VR to tell humanitarian stories.

Listen to a 30-minute long BBC World Service documentary about Gabo's pioneering VR work.

"We have a long history of portraying the horrors of war in creative ways. VR will be next" - Gabo writing about his latest VR projects.

Read Johns Hopkins Magazine's article about Gabo's creative work.

Gabo Arora was guest of Al Jazeera's "The Stream".

Read about Gabo's latest Project "Zikr: A Sufi Revival" and watch the trailer.

Follow @gaboarora on Twitter.