World Literacy Summits 2012, 2014 and 2016

The World Literacy Summit is a biennial international conference. The inaugural World Literacy Summit was held at Oxford University in April, 2012. The second World Literacy Summit (WLS 2014) was held in Oxford, United Kingdom, from the 14th to the 16th of April, 2014.

World Literacy Summit 2012

The inaugural World Literacy Summit was held in Oxford in April, 2012. The WLS 2012 brought together 249 participants from 52 countries. All delegates were encouraged to contribute toward the Oxford Declaration.

Summit 2012



  • 249 participants from 52 countries
  • 73 speakers
  • 36 plenary and breakout sessions
  • 38 countries represented (26 country ambassadors and 12 other embassy representatives)

Key Topics

Topics addressed at WLS 2012 included:

  • Transforming Illiteracy
  • Specialised Programmes for Unique Cultures
  • New Technologies in Learning
  • The Long Term Cost of Literacy Difficulties
  • Adult Literacy
  • Country-specific interventions
  • Early childhood literacy
  • Illiteracy in Urban Areas of the Developed World

Social Events

  • To mark the Opening and Close of the Summit, there were sit-down dinners, complete with wine and waiter service, in the formal setting of the Grand Dining Hall of Balliol College.
  • Delegates were invited to a Drinks Reception in the Lodgings of the Master of Balliol College
  • Self-service meals, including breakfast and lunch, were enjoyed in the Hall of Trinity College
  • A special concert was staged by a strings ensemble in Trinity College Chapel
  • Delegates also took the opportunity to join guided walks of the University City and to visit some of its ancient inns




World Literacy Summit 2014

The 2014 World Literacy Summit was held in Oxford, United Kingdom from the 14th to the 16th of April, 2014. The 2014 Summit embraced the theme Literacies: The Power to Change.Summit

The World Literacy Summit 2014 (WLS 2014) was held in Oxford, United Kingdom, from the 14th to the 16th of April, 2014.

The Summit aimed to build awareness of the global literacy crisis and provide opportunities for participants to develop strategic plans, exchange information, find solutions and build partnerships to improve literacy standards worldwide.


WLS 2014 sought to:

  • Explore the key issues impacting literacy around the world
  • Analyse the latest literacy delivery methods and teaching approaches
  • Increase awareness of the global literacy crisis (775 million people worldwide are illiterate)
  • Create opportunities for delegates to collaborate in supporting literacy
  • Revisit and update the Oxford Declaration

WLS 2014 Theme

WLS 2014 explored the most pressing issues facing literacy today. The overarching theme for the 2014 summit was Literacies: the Power to Change. This theme explored the role of both new and traditional literacy tools and techniques in the worldwide fight to eradicate illiteracy.

Who attended the 2014 World Literacy Summit?

Champions of literacy from all countries and all professional sectors were invited and encouraged to attend WLS 2014. A champion of literacy is an individual or organisation representative who is interested in improving the standards of literacy on a regional, national or international scale.

This includes:

  • Heads of State
  • Ministers for Education
  • Academics, educators and teachers
  • Representatives from literacy and development organisations, charities or NGOs
  • Literacy practitioners, experts and researchers
  • Business leaders engaged in furthering the literacy cause
  • Youth representatives, students and leaders of tomorrow that are active in literacy and development issues


The 2014 World Literacy Summit was organised by the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation.

Oxford University Press was a major sponsor of WLS 2014

World Literacy Summit 2016

The World Literacy Council will be seeking to build on the enormous success of 2012 and 2014, with the third Literacy Summit to be held in August 2016.

Please stay tuned to the website, or visit our social media channels for the latest updates.