Takeshi Utsumi1 and Arturo Garzon2
1GLOSAS/USA, 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, US; phone 718-939-0928 (w/h); telex 386131 (GIS USA); EASYLINK 62756570; SprintMail TUTSUMI/ GU.USA/ASSOCIATES.TNET; Internet email@example.com
2Department of Educational Affairs, Organization of American States, 1889 F Street N.W. Washington, DC 20006, US; phones 202-458-3309 (w) 301-983-8762 (h); facsimile 202-458-3149; SpintMail AGARZON/GU.USA/ASSOCIATES.TNET
Abstract. This paper describes the construction of an infrastructure for global education and peace gaming, in particular on the issue of environment and sustainable development in Third World countries. The games are intended to train would-be decision makers in crisis management, conflict resolution, and negotiation techniques. Experience shows that the expertise necessary to participate in peace games does not exist in many parts of the world. To help educate future participants and to promote the cause of peace by enhancing exchanges of education and joint research, the Multinational Project on Secondary and Higher Education (PROMESUP) of the Organization of American States (OAS) is joining efforts with the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation (GLOSAS) Project to create a Global/Latin American (electronic) University (GLAU) as an initial step in that region towards full implementation of a Global (electronic) University (GU) consortium. This paper provides a brief account of the steps taken over the past 12 years which have led to the development of the GU so that Latin American institutions can meet the challenge of global issues.
Key words. conflict resolution; crisis management; distance education; global environmental peace gaming; global lecture hall; global neural computer network; global university; globally distributed decision-support system; GLOSAS project; OAS; REDLAED
The need to understand the economic, social, and environmental issues in different regions of the planet and the need for the peoples of the world to learn to communicate and to cooperate has never been more pressing. Economic, ecological, and political issues today are global, and they must be faced in all of their complexity. It is imperative to develop an authentic sense of planetary citizenship to confront planetary issues that endanger the life of our species. This task is too large for government regulation, aid agencies, or development banks alone. Restoration of the environment must engage all citizens of the globe, and yet sustainable development is ultimately a local activity.
To support the struggle for the preservation of our ecological heritage, we propose a worldwide telecommunications network for education and non-profit purposes: a Global (electronic) University (GU) consortium. One initial step of this would be the establishment of a Global/Latin American (electronic) University (GLAU), cooperating with the recently created Latin American Network for the Development of Distance Education (REDLAED).
GU can facilitate the operation of existing distance educational enterprises by developing a cooperative and worldwide infrastructure and by bringing the powers and resources of telecommunications to ordinary citizens around the world. The quality of education for those unable to attend conventional universities in disadvantaged countries could be greatly enhanced.
Connections between departments of economics, sociology, and political science in various countries are being established to explore conflict resolution and for new-world-order alternatives to war, with the use of global teleconferencing. Faculties, researchers, would-be decision makers, and students of those institutions and universities can be the players of a global peace game.
In 1972, the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation (GLOSAS) project on energy, resources, and environment (ERE) systems for global peace gaming was started (Utsumi 1977, Rossman and Utsumi 1986, Utsumi et al. 1986). With computerized simulations and a combination of advanced telecommunication channels, such gaming will enable experts in many countries to collaborate in finding new solutions to the problems that have previously been the causes of war.
Over the past 12 years, GLOSAS played a major role in making possible the extension of USA data communication networks to other countries, particularly to Japan. GLOSAS helped the deregulation of Japanese telecommunication policies for the use of electronic mail and computer conferencing through USA-Japan public packet-switching lines. This enabled cost reduction of telecommunications and the European Economic Community (EEC) and Latin American countries have followed suit.
Multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive teleconferencing technology which GLOSAS/USA has developed and demonstrated for the past several years uses audio, data, text, computer, and slow-scan TV teleconferencings, audio-graphic, facsimile, packet-radio and packet-satellite, and full-color, full-motion video teleconferencing. GLOSAS/USA has conducted many demonstrations of a global lecture hall, in which participants in several countries can hear, talk to, and see the other participants, using inexpensive methods for Third World countries. Demonstrations included uplinking to satellites combined with audio and slow-scan teleconferencing, global computer conferencing, and facsimile for question-and-answer exchanges. The most ambitious demonstration had 14 sites linked together, from the east coast of the USA to Korea, Alaska, and Australia.
In the particular case of Latin America, their educational systems have not been able to provide the quality and quantity of education needed for self-sustained development. To confront this situation, Latin American and Caribbean governments, with the support of the Regional Program for Educational Development (PREDE) of the Organization of American States (OAS), commenced the implementation of distance education projects with the purpose of improving and expanding educational opportunities for a growing population of students who could not attend the traditional education system.
In order to support the efforts of Latin American distance educators, GLOSAS/USA organized a demonstration of the large-scale interactive satellite teleconference, global lecture hall with the use of various inexpensive global telecommunication media to show the possibilities of global education. This was done on the occasion of the XVth World Conference of the International Council of Distance Education (ICDE) in Venezuela, 1990.
The GU will distribute education from all the world's best sources to all the students who crave knowledge, wherever they are, so as to enlarge and expand the present exchange of courses into a worldwide educational system. The system will provide a specially tailored educational program for each individual, bringing to his/her home an array of resources that can empower individuals and bring new wealth to the Third World.
GLOSAS/USA was established as a publicly supported, nonprofit, educational service organization in 1988 for quality and availability of international educational exchange through the use of computer, telecommunication, and information technologies. It seeks to create a Global (electronic) University (GU) Consortium which will become a more permanent organization of the international education exchange via various telecommunication media.
To help educate future participants of peace games and to promote the cause of peace by enhancing exchanges of education and joint research, GLOSAS is attempting to create a Global/Pacific University (GPU), a Global/Latin American University (GLAU), and a Global/European University (GEU) consortia. These, along with a Global/Indian University (GIU) (Charp 1988), can become part of a true Global University.
Global Peace Gaming of GLOSAS
The global peace gaming of GLOSAS is a computerized gaming/simulation to help decision makers construct a globally distributed decision-support systemfor positive sum/win-win alternatives to conflict and war. The idea involves interconnecting experts in many countries via global value-added networks (VANs) to collaborate in discovering new solutions for world crises, such as the deteriorating ecology of our globe, and to explore new alternatives for a world order capable of addressing the problems and opportunities of an interdependent globe (Mische 1988).
The globally distributed peace gaming/simulations will be for policy analysis, conflict resolution, cooperation, and training in negotiation techniques. Gaming/simulation is the best tool we have for understanding the world's problems and the solutions we propose for them. The distributed mode with autonomously maintained and updated databases and simulation models will not only give credibility and integrity to the databases and models but will also motivate local people.
One of the largest and perhaps most successful demonstrations was held at the conference on Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution given by the World Future Society in New York, 1986. A global gaming/simulation session with a multimedia teleconference on the USA-Japan trade and economy issues was demonstrated. Nearly 1,500 people took part, in New York, Tokyo, Honolulu, and Vancouver.
Some countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have been experiencing environmental deterioration due to the mass impact of a rapidly growing and poorly educated population. A GLAU can take full advantage of the potential that telecommunication networking offers for education, information, simulation, exchange of ideas, cooperation, and problem solving. Education and socioeconomic system simulations are the warp and woof in the fabric of projects that GLOSAS/USA is weaving in collaboration with voluntary associates in several states and overseas countries. In Latin America, education and system simulations are two of the many activities needed to save the environment while pursuing industrial development.
GLOSAS/USA submitted a project plan to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) that will expand and exploit telecommunications systems within Latin America and outside to the United States and Japan. The specific objectives are:
These are to be done with distributed computer conferencing, databases, and simulation systems among several Latin American countries to provide globally distributed peace gaming/simulations focusing on environmental issues. Several systems will be interconnected to form a global neural computer network in such a way that the total system will act as if it were a single system with parallel processing of those subsystems in individual countries-here, each game player with his submodel and database corresponds to a neuron of a global brain.
A comprehensive model of global resources, ecology, and economy is needed for the rational management of ecology and for economic cooperation among nations and economic blocs. We propose a public open modeling network (OMN) which will consist of models developed by local experts interconnected by global VANs (Utsumi et al. 1986). Interconnection of dissimilar computers and models for peace gaming on ERE systems, architectures for linking heterogenous, computers were outlined by Utsumi and DeVita (1982).
An outline of the hierarchical structure and distributed components of an integrated, interactive peace gaming/simulation system for energy, economics, foreign trade, and so on is depicted in Fig. 1 (Utsumi 1974a). Each block in the figure represents dissimilar computers of the public VANs in those countries. These computers include simulation models designated in each block. All models will be executed simultaneously and concertedly via satellite and terrestrial telecommunication links. For example, suppose pollution in Japan exceeded a certain allowable level, say, around 1977 on Fig. 2 (Utsumi 1974b), the Japanese expert watching it on the display unit will stop the entire simulation. All participants, wherever they are located, will then try to find, with the use of the conferencing system, a consensus on a new set of pseudoalternative policy parameters which will be executed until a new crisis appears, say, around 1984 on the figure. The process will be repeated for rational policy analysis, based on facts and figures, and with international cooperation of experts in both countries.
The purpose of an interactive gaming mechanism is to help find appropriate alternative policies by establishing consensus among participating parties. It is suggested here that globally distributed computer simulation should be tested interactively with the game player inserting pseudo-policy parameters into the models whenever necessary. This is called peace gaming/simulation (Utsumi 1977) similar to war games practiced by military strategists (Schram et al. 1971). With the advent of global VANs and standard interface protocols for interconnecting various dispersed, dissimilar host computers, the potential exists for ensuring the coordination of international efforts by providing more frequent communications and an environment for shared development, enabling more credible simulation study than was previously possible.
It is now possible to combine existing technologies to make sophisticated and more holistic explorations of various scenarios for solving global social problems. Many small computers in different countries can be interconnected, through globally distributed network and information processing, into modeling and simulation instruments for playing peace games on the scale of Pentagon war games (McLeod 1987).
Global education via satellite and other telecommunication media is the way towards the twenty-first century "Age of Knowledge," laying a social infrastructure for global citizenship of the global village. Extending communications through a global network and sharing ideas and educational opportunities with other locations is of paramount interest. The exchange of knowledge among countries can make major contributions to world peace. Developments in global electronic education can transform education at all levels around the world, and can enrich and transform human society.
GU is an evolutionary concept with no global precedent. It can now take shape gradually through parallel steps and many kinds of initiatives in many regions, encouraging a sense of universally shared responsibility and a spirit of participation, in an enterprise truly global in scope.
The world is shrinking in the electronic sense and all people and all educational programs are becoming increasingly interconnected. With this interconnection, however, there comes the potential for escalating regional conflicts, so the need for global education with global peace gaming has never been greater. Senator Fulbright once said that "learning together and working together are the first steps toward world peace." The time is ripe for global education. The technology is now available. What we need now are people who are eager to face the challenges of our time and to forge ahead toward the education of the twenty-first century.
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Takeshi Utsumi is Chairman of GLOSAS/USA which he created in 1988, a member of the Board of the University of the World in California; Director of the World Association for the Use of Satellites in Education (WAUSE) in Bari, Italy; a board member of the Institute for Educational Studies in Atlanta, Georgia; an advisor to Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES) of the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and Technical Director of the GLOSAS/Japan.
Arturo Garzon is Principal Specialist of the Department of Educational Affairs in the Organization of American States, and the Editor of the Interamerican Review of Education. He majored in science teaching and earned a masters degree in educational technology at Florida State University. He joined the OAS in 1972 to provide technical assistance to member States in introducing educational innovations and promoting technical cooperation.