World Network for Linguistic Diversity

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Project at a glance

Dates and Place

06 March 2008 - 30 November -1

Project details


Maaya -- the World Network for Linguistic Diversity -- is a multilateral network created to contribute to the enhancement and promotion of linguistic diversity in the world. Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Maaya serves as a platform of exchange and sharing in the area of shared knowledge, where technology offers a great potential for languages, but is also a risk to them, as to date only a very small number of languages of the 6000 spoken in the world are available in cyberspace.

At present, the Network serves as the moderator of the sub-theme on Linguistic Diversity of the action line C8 of the WSIS Plan of Action and has initiated the Dynamic Coalition for Linguistic Diversity of the Internet Governance Forum. The Maaya Network was founded in the context of the recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), where linguistic and cultural diversity in cyberspace was one of the priorities identified. Maaya was initiated by the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), under the auspices of the African Union. 

While started in the context of the WSIS, Maaya also includes organizations not solely focusing on cyber issues. It is a multi-stakeholder network, involving all actors including civil society, governments and international organizations... Its mission is to value and promote linguistic diversity as a basis of the unity of human communication.


  • Encourage governments and institutions to adopt and implement measures enhancing equitable multilingualism;

  • Promote mother tongue based bilingual and/or multilingual education at all levels of education everywhere as a means of promoting both social and gender equality;

  • Promote software localization and equal access of all languages to cyberspace;

  • Facilitate the empowerment of language communities worldwide in developing and using their own languages;

  • Contribute to the creation and sharing of language resources;

  • Observe the implementation of language policies and serve as a focal point for linguistic research projects.

Expected Results

  • To contribute to the reduction of the knowledge divide through the construction of concrete, specific and adapted programs, which enhance the use of languages as means of the world's cultures;
  • To implement Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships in the field of cultural and linguistic diversity;
  • To contribute to the strengthening of the dialogue of cultures and civilizations for a world of peace and solidarity.

Network Members

African Academy of Language (, Association YSB Sängö (, ENSTA (, Funredes (, Global Knowledge Partnership (, ICVolunteers (, International Literacy Institute of the University of Pennsylvania (ILI) (, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) (, Intlnet (, Language Observatory (, Linguamón - House of Languages (, Linguasphere Observatory (, Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC) (, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) (, SIL International (, Thai Computational Linguisitcs Laboratory (, Toile Métisse (,
UNESCO (, Union latine - Direction terminologie et industries de la langue (, Agence tunisienne internet (, EUROLINC (, Fantsuam Foundation (, Institut des sciences et des nouvelles technologies, MIGRAF (, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (, Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) (, REUSSI (

Executive Committee Members

  • Adama Samassékou (ACALAN), President  
  • Yoshiki Mikami (Language Observatory),  Executive Secretary  
  • Daniel Prado (Union latine),  Deputy Executive Secretary 
  • Claudio Menezes (Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia), Treasurer 
  • Viola Krebs (ICVolunteers), Responsible for the Secretariat  
  • Linguamón -  House of Languages) 
  • Funredes  
  • Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) 
  • Linguasphere Observatory  
  • SIL International

Who can join the Maaya Network?

The Maaya Network is composed of institutional members and honorary members.  Institutions belonging to the following categories can apply to join the Network as institutional members:  

  • Civil society institutions (NGOs, universities, associations, foundations, etc.);
  • Governmental institutions;
  • International organizations. 

Honorary members are institutions active in the fields of linguistic diversity or encouraging the aims of the Network through other means. They are nominated by the Executive Committee.  If your institution wishes to join the Maaya Network, we invite you to fill in the application form available on the Maaya website ( -- section "How to become a member").

If you would like to collaborate with the Maaya Network by translating the information available on its website into a language that is not jet available, please contact us at

More information

Maaya website

Role of ICVolunteers

ICVolunteers hosts at present the headquarters of Maaya in Geneva and coordinates the secretariat together with Linguamón, House of Languages in Barcelona.

Long Term Projects

ICVolunteers promotes volunteerism and its recognition, by enhancing civic commitment and involvement, and by providing leadership and links between organizations, individuals and communities. With this perspective, ICVolunteers develops projects and leads initiatives.

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