Keynote speakers and session presenters include:


Dr. James Tooley (UK) - EG West Centre & Author View

Dr. Luis Crouch (US) - Global Partnership for Education

Aicha Bah Diallo (Guinea) - Forum for African Women Educationalists View

Venkata Subbarao Ilapavuluri - UNESCO

Dr. Helen Abadzi (US) - Global Partnership for Education

Jonathan Douglas - Chairman, National Literacy Trust

Pam Allyn (US) - LitWorld View

Dr. Patrick Plonski (US) - Books for Africa View

David Archer (UK) - ActionAid International

Jean-Jacques Schul (Belgium) - IDAY network & EIB View

Dr. Sylvia Linan-Thompson (US) - University of Texas View

Jean Gross (UK) - Independent Consultant View

Dr. Patricia Edwards (US) - International Reading Association View

David Harvey (US) - ProLiteracy View

Rajani Paranjbe (India) - Door Step School

Elliot Friedlander (US) - Save the Children

Mary-Ruth Mendel (Aus) - Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation

Kate Lloyd Morgan (UK) - Mediae View

John Traxler (UK) - Learning Labs View

Dr. Sandra Hollingsworth (US) - Creative Associates International View

Jesper Wohlert (Denmark) - Humana People to People

Dr. Radka Wildová (Czech Republic) - Charles Sturt University View

Pamela Snow (Aus) - Monash University

Dr. Emmanuel Mgqwashu (South Africa) - University of KwaZulu-Natal View

Julie Ruel (Canada) - Pavillon du Parc View

Dr. Yeong-Mahn You (Republic of Korea) - Hanyang University

Dr. Masrur Khan (Pak) - National University of Sciences & Technology View

Dr. Libby Limbrick (NZ) - University of Auckland View

Steve Wilshaw (UK) - CfBT Education Trust View

Dr. Anthony Cree (Aus) - Aboriginal Literacy Foundation View

Dr. Luke Dickens (UK) - University of London View

Dr. Donald Green (US) - Ferris State University View

Marianna Houston (USA) - International Theatre & Literacy Project View

Andrew Kay (Aus) - World Literacy Foundation View

Dr. Douglas Lonie (UK) - Youth Music View

Warren Smith (Aus) - Splitting Image View

Á. Clotilde Houchon Houchon (US) - University of Utah View

Michael Bitz (US) - The Center for Educational Pathways View

Plus many, many more!


James Tooley

E.G. West Centre
Director & Author


James TooleyProfessor James Tooley is director of the E. G. West Centre at Newcastle University. His book The Beautiful Tree was on the best-seller lists in India in 2010, and won the 2010 Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Prize. It builds on his ground-breaking research on private education for the poor in India, China and Africa. He was founding president of the Education Fund, Orient Global, living in Hyderabad, India for two years, where he created a chain of low cost private schools. Since then he has helped set up educational companies in China and Ghana, with a further company in India.  His work featured in an American PBS documentary, and also featured in a documentary for BBC World and on BBC Newsnight. He has been described in the pages of Philanthropy magazine as “a 21st century Indiana Jones” travelling to “the remotest regions on Earth researching something that many regard as mythical: private, parent-funded schools serving the Third World poor.”

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Aicha Bah Diallo

Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)


Bah DialloMrs Bah Diallo is chair of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE). She is known in Africa as a champion of girls ‘s education and in Guinea, where she was Minister of Education, as the leader of the education reform addressing both access and quality, linking formal and non formal education. Mrs Bah Diallo believes that literacy is the key to quality education. In UNESCO where she was a senior education leader, she prepared the Literacy Decade launched at the UN Headquarters in 2003. She believes that literacy is the backbone of the EFA goals and teacher training is the key.

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Pam Allyn

Executive Director & Founder


Pam AllynPam Allyn is the Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, a global organization advocating for children’s rights as readers, writers and learners. She is also the Executive Director and founder of LitLife, a national organization dedicated to school improvement. She is the author several books, including the acclaimed and award-winning What To Read When: The Books and Stories To Read With Your Child–And All The Best Times To Read Them. Pam is widely known as a motivational speaker advocating for reading and writing as human rights that belong to all people. Her personal quest to bring literacy to every child stems from a deeper desire to bring dignity to every child, and to empower children to read and write powerfully, effectively and with passion in ways that will change their worlds and the worlds of others. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah Radio, The Huffington Post, and in The New York Times.

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Dr. Patrick Plonski

Books for Africa


Patrick PlonskiDr. Patrick Plonski currently serves as Director of Books for Africa, the world's largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent.  Since 1988, the organisation has distributed over 24 million books to African children, and is making remarkable progress toward achieving their goal of ending the book famine in the continent. Dr. Plonski has 23 years of experience in university administration, and international non-profit management and literacy advancement, and holds a PhD in international education.  His extensive awareness of the international literacy crisis, and experience in actively addressing the issue promises that he will be an inspirational speaker.

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Jean-Jacques Schul

Chairman & Founder of the IDAY network
Honorary General Manager of European Investment Bank (EIB)


SchulJean-Jacques, a Belgian engineer & economist, spent his career in development financing in Africa, at the World Bank and at the European Investment Bank. Upon his retirement, he was impressed by the Message of Yaguine & Fodé - the two young Guineans found dead in the landing gear of a plane coming from Conakry – and created a fund to address their call for better education in Africa. In 2005, beneficiaries decided to launch a network of African and European civil society organisations commemorating all together June 16, the International Day of the African Child. Activities focus on empowering African civil society to conduct advocacy campaigns so as to achieve the 6 goals of the Dakar framework for Action for Education For All. IDAY counts today 250 members from 18 African and 8 European countries catering for about 145 000 vulnerable children. The network is a member of the Global Campaign for Education and has partnerships with NIDOE, FAWE, ANPPCAN, and SOROPTIMIST.

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Sylvia Linan-Thompson

University of Texas, Austin
Associate Professor


Linan-ThompsonSylvia Linan-Thompson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, has worked on national and international projects related to literacy development, teacher professional development, and curriculum and assessment development. She was PI or Co-PI of longitudinal, large-scale US projects that have developed and examined reading interventions for primary students. Internationally, she has provided technical assistance to projects in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Dr. Linan-Thompson supported projects in the development, adaptation, and implementation of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and the development of reading interventions in English and local languages. She has also participated in the dissemination of findings and in dialogue with ministry of education personnel to identify solutions for educational challenges. Additionally; she had designed program evaluation studies and has led evaluation teams in several countries. She has authored articles, chapters and books on these topics and has developed instructional guides.

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Jean Gross CBE

Independent consultant

GrossJean Gross has led major UK initiatives to tackle ‘the long tail of underachievement’ as a senior director within the government’s national literacy strategy and as Director of the Every Child a Reader programme. Together with KPMG economists she wrote the seminal ‘Long term costs of literacy difficulties' report, which estimated the costs to the public purse of failure to intervene early when children are struggling to learn to read. She has been a Visiting Fellow at two universities, and is the author of numerous articles and best-selling books on special educational needs and social disadvantage.


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Dr. Patricia Edwards

International Reading Association
2010-11 President


Patricia EdwardsDr.Patricia Edwards served as the President of the International Reading Association from 2010-2011, and is Distinguished Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. She served as a member of the International Reading Association Board of Directors from 1998–2001, and in 2006-2007 stood as the first African American President of the Literacy Research Association- the world's premier reading research organization. She is the author of two nationally acclaimed family literacy programs, as well as the co-author of numerous other publications, which are rich with evidence and insights into issues of culture, identity, equity, and power. Her vast experience in the field of literacy and education is sure to result in a fascinating insight for all delegates.

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David Harvey




David HarveyDavid C. Harvey is president and CEO of ProLiteracy, the largest non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing the cause of adult literacy and basic education programs in the United States. ProLiteracy champions the power of literacy to improve the lives of adults and their families, communities, and societies. Harvey has led efforts to strategically reposition the organisation with a focus on innovation, expanding its public policy work and advocacy presence, and fostering new foundation, corporate, and federal funding partnerships. Internationally, Harvey has led a review of ProLiteracy’s portfolio of literacy for social change projects in 52 emerging countries, conducted site visits in Central America, represented ProLiteracy at UNESCO’s Sixth International Conference on Adult Education in Belém, Brazil, and helped to sponsor an adult literacy forum in South Africa.
Harvey has a long history of working on behalf of vulnerable populations and disenfranchised communities.

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Kate Lloyd Morgan

Media Company 


Kate Lloyd MorganKate is a Director of Mediae, a company that focuses on the development of effective communication strategies and different media productions for education and development in East Africa.  One such programme is KnowZone – a tv programme for primary aged children in Kenya which aims to promote numeracy, literacy and life skills. Kate will be showing part of the programme, as well as talking about some of the findings that arose from research conducted by Synovate (a Kenyan based research company) and London’s Institute of Education.

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John Traxler

Mobile Learning


TraxlerJohn Traxler is Professor of Mobile Learning, probably the world’s first, and Director of the Learning Lab at the University of Wolverhampton. He is a Founding Director of the International Association for Mobile Learning, Associate Editor of the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning and of Interactive Learning Environments. He is on the Research Board of ALT, the Editorial Board of Research in Learning Technology and IT in International Development. He was Conference Chair of mLearn2008, the world’s biggest and oldest mobile learning research conference.  John has co-written a guide to mobile learning in developing countries and is co-editor of the definitive book, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers. He was an invited Expert for the First Mobile Learning Week at UNESCO Paris in December 2011 and contributed to current World Bank and World Economic Forum reports.

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Dr. Sandra Hollingsworth

Senior Associate for Literacy Instruction
Creative Associates, International, Washington DC

HollingsworthA recent Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and San José State University, Dr. Hollingsworth is a published historian and former K-12 classroom teacher. She currently studies and promotes literacy instruction in developing countries in South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, Haiti and many African countries. With ministries of education, NGOs and local educators, Dr. Hollingsworth has collaboratively developed literacy programs in local and national languages suitable for teachers with minimal preparation in literacy. The programs enable students of all ages to learn to read in a few months. Dr. Hollingsworth’s academic work has resulted in over 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals and major book companies. One of her books, Personal, Community and School Literacies: Challenging a Single Standard, speaks to the complexities of maintaining home languages while transitioning to national languages.


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Dr. Radka Wildová

Charles Sturt University, Prague
Associate Professor


WildováDr. Radka Wildova has over twenty-five years experience in education. Her expertise is in general methodology with concentration on the development of reading literacy and pre-literacy. In this field, she publishes monographs, gives presentations at international conferences, and lectures at international universities. She lectures on Primary School Teaching, Kindergarten teaching, and Special Education. She supervises PhD thesis on literacy development and innovative approaches in school education. She is a beneficiary and co-beneficiary of a number of significant research grants and the European Union programmes. In 2003 – 2009, she was Vice-Dean for Study Affairs at the Faculty of Education, Charles University, since 2009 she has been Dean at the said Faculty.

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Dr. EM Mgqwashu

University of KwaZulu-Natal


MgqwashuDr. Emmanuel Mgqwashu is a senior lecturer in the School of Education of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  He supervises and conducts research in such areas as Applied Language Studies, Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Academic Literacies, and English Literary Studies. He has published his work in several local and international journals, and presented at conferences nationally and abroad. At the Summit, Dr. Mgqwashu will be reporting on his research on the qualitative evaluation of the role of reflexive pedagogy; the pedagogic approach used in a first year, academic literacy compulsory module for all first year Bachelor of Education (B. Ed) students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  The module is called Academic Learning in English. Its objective is to assist students in the process of enhancing their skills in reading and writing so that they become effective learners in the university environment.

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Julie Ruel

Literacy and Inclusion - Pavillon du Parc
Interdisciplinary Chair


RuelJulie Ruel leads the research activities at Pavillon du Parc, a rehabilitation center for people with intellectual disabilities or autistic spectrum disorders, in the province of Québec, Canada. She is also co-chairholder of the Interdisciplinary Chair in Literacy and Inclusion attached to Université du Québec en Outaouais. The Chair promotes an inclusive perspective, which calls for communities and public services to acknowledge and take into account the literacy levels of the populations they serve. The research conducted targets the development of strategies to enhance inclusion of segments of low-literacy populations to increase citizens’ participation, to voice citizens’ opinions, and, in doing so, to support inclusive communities.

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Dr. Masrur A. Khan

National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), Pakistan
Head, Department of Mass Communication


Dr. Masrur A. KhanProfessor Masrur A. Khan is founding head, Department of Mass Communication at NUST and is one of the senior most academicians in the field of mass communication in Pakistan. He has established five institutions in his area and conducted numerous researches and participated in more than one hundred international and national conferences and various intellectual discourses during his career of 40 years. Professor Masrur will provide insight to understand the socio-cultural consequences of poverty and illiteracy. His study explores the role of media in highlighting the status of human trafficking as a poverty driven global phenomenon.

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Dr. Libby Limbrick

Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Education
University of Auckland


LimbrickDr. Libby Limbrick is a Principal Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, and for the past six years, Head of the School of Arts, Languages and Literacies.  Her research interests and teaching are in literacy education, especially in respect to working with students who have literacy learning difficulties.  Current teaching is predominately supervision of masterate and doctoral students. She is responsible for the Postgraduate Diploma of Education (Literacy), an online qualification taught nationally, with some international students.  Dr Limbrick has a great interest in children’s literature and is the Chairperson of Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand. She views a love of reading as a key to successful literacy learning.

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Steve Wilshaw

CfBT Education Trust
Senior School Consultant


WilshawSteve Willshaw has been involved in English teaching for 26 years with 10 as a head of department and the last 5 as a senior school improvement consultant with CfBT Education Trust in Lincolnshire.  He devised Rooted in Reading which has now grown into a set of 12 reading passports, designed to promote reading for pleasure by people of all ages.  The passports are now distributed nationally and internationally by the National Association for the Teaching of English and a trial project is being run in collaboration with the government of St VIncent and the Grenadines.  A research report into the impact of the project will be launched at the summit.

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Dr. Tony Cree

Aboriginal Literacy Foundation


Tony CreeDr. Tony Cree is founder and CEO of the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. For over 25 years, Dr. Cree has been involved with Indigenous education projects in conjunction with governments, universities and schools. He founded the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation in 2003 in order to actively address the wide gap in literacy levels between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations of Australia. Since then, Dr. Cree has been involved with literacy projects benefitting nearly 20,000 young people, and his experience and passion to the improvement of international literacy levels will be enthusiastically received at the World Literacy Summit.

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Dr. Luke Dickens

Goldsmiths, University of London


DickensDr. Luke Dickens is a Research Associate in Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is a cultural and urban geographer with research interests in urban youth cultures, and particularly the aesthetic practices of graffiti, street art and global hip-hop culture. His current research explores narrative and voice through the lyrical practices of young MCs in Brighton, and through the processes of digital storytelling with community groups in Salford, Greater Manchester.

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Dr. Donald Green

Ferris State University, Michigan
Vice President


Donald GreenDon Green serves Ferris State University as the Vice President for Extended and International Operations and Dean of the College of Professional and Technological Studies. His principal areas of work are the development of unique technology, science and business related degree programs for future labor markets, improving educational services to non-traditional student populations, marketing to non-traditional student populations and serving the University’s community outreach. Prior to his work at FSU he served as Academic Dean for Davenport University and had his own firm advising corporations, governmental organizations, and educational institutions on training and education.  Dr. Green has a passion for global economic development and the foundation literacy brings to that development.  He believes higher education must serve underrepresented populations, becoming more accessible and entrepreneurial.

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Marianna Houston

Founder & Executive Director
International Theatre & Literacy Project


HoustonMs. Houston is the founder and Executive Director of the International Theatre and Literacy Project (www.itlp.org). ITLP brings top USA teaching artists to developing countries to conduct playwriting workshops for children—giving them a voice worldwide. The program provides, through the expressive arts of acting, drama and creative writing, a chance to develop independent thinking, creative self-expression, social interaction and discipline and, in the end, produces an original play performed by the students for their community that allows the voice of a new generation of leaders in the developing world to be heard.

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Andrew Kay

World Literacy Foundation


Andrew KayAndrew Kay serves as the CEO of the World Literacy Foundation, an NGO committed to providing projects and programs to break the cycle of low levels of literacy in the developing world. With programs including the building of digital communities, donations of thousands of books and resources, and the training of literacy teachers and tutors in developing nations, the foundation is having a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children each year. Andrew says that “it is outrageous that over 70 million children worldwide are still not attending school, despite notable pledges by the world’s leaders to make education more accessible for poor children.”

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Dr. Douglas Lonie

Youth Music


LonieDr. Douglas Lonie is the Research and Evaluation Manager at Youth Music where he has been since 2009. Youth Music supports around 300 projects each year, many of which are focused on using music as a tool for wider learning including literacy and language development for children and young people aged 0-18.  Prior to joining Youth Music, Douglas completed his doctoral studies investigating links between music and health at the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow. 

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Warren Smith

Splitting Image


Warren SmithWarren Smith is Director of Splitting Image, one of Australia's most technologically advanced pre-press companies. He will outline how new digital technologies are opening up new and exciting opportunities for literacy learning in Indigenous groups around the world. Newly developed software can allow Indigenous people to use digital platforms to learn literacy and numeracy in both their local language and the national language, in parallel with one another.

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Á. Clotilde Houchon

University of Utah

HouchenÁ. Clotilde Houchon is a PhD candidate in Literacy Studies, at the University of Utah. Her primary research interests include: Transliteracies, Comics as Spatialised/Informal Youth Literacy Practice, Informal Geographies of Education, Transmigrant Youth, their mobilities and contributions to geographical imaginations of place and space, in and through comics. 
Clotilde’s research interests are made evident through her recent collaborative, youth driven literacy study and intervention with Comics Go Global, where transnational youth used digital technologies (e.g. Skype, Second Life) and comics to make their worlds wider, while depending on one another's collective skills, perspectives and experimental knowledge―live and across continents―at the Royal Geographical Society’s scholarly symposium last summer. 


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Dr. Michael Bitz

The Center for Educational Pathways
Executive Director


BitzDr. Michael Bitz, EdD, is the executive director of The Center for Educational Pathways (CEP), a nonprofit organisation that establishes alternative pathways to literacy, learning, and character development for underserved youth, their schools, and their communities. CEP includes, The Comic Book Project and The Youth Music Exchange (http://www.edpath.org/programs.htm).  Dr. Bitz is also an Honorary Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was Senior Research Associate. He is a professor of Reading Theory & Practice and Technology in Education, at Ramapo College of New Jersey. His teaching interests include: Literacy, New Media, Technology, and Social Contexts.

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