live streaming on Tuesday, January 23

Events of the Day

All times listed are in Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5)

Join the live stream!

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM

A Rare Case Study: Sikkim’s Endangered Language Project

The state of Sikkim has more official scripts than any other government region in the world. What does the West, which knows only one script, have to learn from Sikkim?


Samar Sinha

Coordinator, Center for Endangered Languages, Sikkim University (India) and Principal Investigator for Sikkim’s Endangered Language Documentation Project.

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

What Is Writing? From Exclusion to Embrace

How Western definitions of writing exclude many of the world’s most endangered and most visually interesting symbol systems.


Olgierd Uziemblo

Sign and Symbol research group at Warsaw University

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

On Script Extinction and Revival: Challenges and Lessons

Recent research on writing in the ancient world gives some unique perspectives on problems of language and writing endangerment, with important lessons for threatened cultural traditions in the modern day.


Dr. Pippa Steele

Principal Investigator of Visual Interactions in Early Writing Systems,
University of Cambridge

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Awards Ceremony: Excellence in Script Revival

Honoring those who engage in excellent work in reviving their traditional or emerging scripts.

Hosted by

Tim Brookes

Executive Director, Endangered Alphabets
Creator of World Endangered Writing Day

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM

Second Wave Launch

The switch is thrown, and 100 new scripts appear in the Atlas of Endangered Alphabets, doubling our coverage of the world’s indigenous and minority writing systems. And with them, a puzzle and a chance to win a remarkable prize.

Hosted by

Tim Brookes

Executive Director, Endangered Alphabets
Creator of World Endangered Writing Day

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Learning to Write: Type Design and Cultural Authenticity

The people who study writing most thoroughly and perceptively are not linguists—they are type designers. Kajama will explain why she is studying Chakma history, geography and aesthetics in order to create a new and culturally-authentic Chakma font.


Kajama Chakma

Graduate student in the world-renowned typography graduate program at the University of Reading (UK)

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Knotted Strings: Writing Beyond the Alphabet

Explore the textile media that expands our concept of writing: khipus of the Andes. How did these knotted and colored cords record bureaucratic data, such as population censuses and labor tribute, during the Inca Empire? How have khipus continued to be used in remote corners of the Andes?


Sabine Hyland

Anthropology, University of St Andrews (UK)

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

Teaching an Endangered Script through MOOC

Szilas presents her work in developing a multilingual MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on China's endangered Naxi Dongba pictographic script. Her talk will center on the pedagogical design of the MOOC, preliminary results, and the participants’ feedback from its first run in 2023.


Jade Jue Wang Szilas

University of Geneva

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

KEYNOTE: Language, Script and Education Revitalization in Bangladesh

How do you create a mother-tongue education program when there are no trained teachers, no published teaching materials, the community speaks multiple languages—and the region is militarized?


Maung Ting Nyeu

Founder of, a non-profit saving endangered languages and cultures through education, illustrated folk tales, and teaching using indigenous languages

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

The Digital Future: On Digitizing Scripts for Electronic Devices

Does digitizing minority scripts, so they can be used on electronic devices, help to save them? What is the process, and what are the challenges?


Anshuman Pandey, Deborah Anderson

Script Encoding Initiative

This session is generously sponsored by Phrase.

4:45 PM - 5:00 pM

What is Natural in Light of the Artificial?

Language is a living breathing thing. It's not something that can reside solely in books and literature. Language lives through its people. Which is why we are so committed to the cause of endangered ones. Our languages carry deep human insights and secrets and losing them means to lose a big part of our identity and heritage. Languages are our medium. Just like water for fish, we coexist and build together only through language. It is what makes us human, and what carries our cultural treasures.

Sponsored Content


Gabriel Fairman

Founder and CEO, Bureau Works

5:00 PM - 5:45 PM

The Last Word: An Interview with Author Amalia Gnanadesikan

An interview with the author of "The Writing Revolution: Cuneiform to the Internet." Given what we know of writing in the past, what can we tell about writing in the future?


Amalia Gnanadesikan, Tim Brookes


Executive Director of Endangered Alphabets