Opening Remark

GLH from Manaus, Amazona, Brazil
October 21, 1998

Good evening, good morning and good afternoon to all participants and viewers around the world!!

This is Dr. Takeshi Utsumi of GLOSAS/USA in New York.

It is my great honor and privilege to open this "Global Lecture Hall" videoconference from Manaus, Amazona, Brazil tonight. I greatly appreciate the initiative made for this historical event by Dr. Alexander Rivas of Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV).

Thanks to the kind provision of AMAZONSAT from Rede Amazonica de Televisao (RAT), anyone can view this videoconference from almost entire South America. Anyone around the world can also view this event via global Internet, thanks to the technical help at Houston Community College in the United States. Panelists are located from Tokyo, Japan to Lviv, Ukraine, as spanning almost 18 hour time zones!! The satellite is a chandelier of this lecture hall without any wall or any boundaries, parochial or national.

In less than 15 months, we will celebrate the beginning of the 21st century which will be the age of Information and Knowledge. Thanks to the great technological advancements of transportation and telecommunication in the 20th century, our globe is now getting smaller and smaller. This global phenomena requires us, global citizen, to understand each other better and work together collaboratively.

Since the beginning of history, human-beings invented many ways of disseminating information and knowledge. The most recent one is Internet which is based on the packet-switching technology invented by Dr. Paul Baran in early 1960s. This technology packetizes information, put address and sequential numbers to each packet which is re-assembled at the destination computer.

Our GLOSAS/USA devoted the past quarter century to extend telecommunication networks based on this technology from the United States to many countries, particularly to Japan, and to de-regulate the Japanese telecommunications policies for the use of electronic mail. Since then, this has been emulated in many countries -- now with over 100 countries for Internet access, and 180 countries for electronic mail.

The essence of this technology is to share valuable telecommunication media. Namely, packets of many people are combined together to use the same telecommunication circuit, in contrast to exclusive use of the circuit by only a sender and a receiver in the conventional analog telephony. This sharing inevitably reduces its cost drastically.

We expand this concept of "sharing" to information and knowledge, which is the education. Moreover, since telecommunication can now reach to every corner of the world, we are now forging ahead to establish the Global (electronic) University System. We hope that, in the near future, anyone on the world, say, from Amazona, can take one course, say, from Japan or China, another course from North America, another from Europe, and so on, and get a degree from the Global University. After graduating from it, he or she can work in any country -- probably from their home via Internet.

In this 20th century, the accumulation of material possessions has signaled wealth, but in the 21st Century, it may be the attainment of knowledge and the capability to apply the acquired knowledge for the good cause of humankind that differentiate the social classes.

In order to realize this dream of establishing the Global University System, we conducted many "Global Lecture Hall" in the past dozen years as testing various delivery systems. Tonight, we will show you two extreme cases; one is the new videoconference technology called NetMeeting via Internet without any cost, and the other is the world most advanced high definition TV via broadband digital satellite network with huge cost.

Please enjoy this videoconference.

Firstly, we will have greetings from distinguished delegates in Manaus.

Now, Mr. Philippe Daou, please. He is President of Rede Amazonica de Televisao.

Professor Lincoln Campos, please. He is the Superintendent of ISAE/FGV.

Teacher Ruth Prestes, next please. She is representing the Secretary of Education from Amazons.

Eng. Luiz Anesio de Miranda, next please. He is from Air Force Ministry.

Our demonstrations will start with presentation by Dr. Ihor Katerniak and his colleagues; Dr. Sergii Gvozdiov, Ms. Ruslana Pashchak, Dr. Borys Zimenkovsky (Rector of Lviv Medical School), and Dr. Alexander Saban, in Ukraine with the use of RealPlayer and NetMeeting via Internet. They will describe their community development activities -- hopefully with broadband wireless Internet in the near future. They are now building a coalition of business, medical and telecommunication parties.

Professor Tapio Varis, former Rector of the U.N. University of Peace in Costa Rica, will next present his talk on the epoch-making international conference "Emerging Global Electronic Distance Education," which will be held at his University of Tampere in Finland with grants from the World Bank and Soros Foundation, etc. The major subject of this forth coming meeting is to establish the "Global Service Trust Fund" with the Official Development Assistant (ODA) funds of G7 countries which is to finance the installation of the broadband wireless Internet around the world.

Professor Roger Boston of Houston Community College will next present his talk on web teaching with PowerPoint slide show and streaming audio/video technology. This is the future of affordable electronic distance education in global scale. With this approach, any instructor (active or retired) can teach small number of students, say, a dozen of them, from their home. We consider that the future of education is more like a Greek style mentor system with highly interactions between instructor and students and among students.

Next, Mr. Eduardo Giraldez, Director of the Center for Research in Information Technology, will present his talk about the activities at CPT/ISAE.

Dr. Peter Knight, former echelon of the World Bank, will next present his talk in Portuguese from Washington, D.C. on telematics for education and development. He was once stationed in Sao Paulo and worked on the implementation of information infrastructure in Russia. His presentation will utilize the NetMeeting via Internet.

Mr. Gary Poon, former executive director of Digital Television Strategic Planning Office at the Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBS) in the U.S. will then present the future direction of PBS for digital age -- with High Definition Television (HDTV), Standard Television Definition (SDTV) or multicasting, and digital data transmission via terrestrial wireless media.

Last presenter is Professor Takahiro Kiuchi of the University of Tokyo about the world most advanced broadband digital satellite network. His talk is about the "Medical Information Network by Communication Satellite for University Hospitals (MINCS-UH)." This network connects about two dozen university hospitals around Japan with two-way, broadband (45 Mbps) digital satellite channels for medical diagnosis with HDTV. His presentation will accompany with a video tape show and a talk via overseas telephone line while we access slide show in his web via Internet.

We hope that his presentation will stimulate the interest of viewers and hence will subsequently lead to the installation of a similar network around South, Central and North America so that the advanced telemedicine and telelearning services can be provided to the people in remote areas of those regions, from North America and Japan (and later, vice versa).

Closing Remark

I hope you have enjoyed viewing this historical videoconference.

Time is now ripe for global electronic distance education, telemedicine and healthcare.

Let's work together for betterment of the world and peace keeping in the 21st century.

If you have any comments and questions, please feel free to contact me with electronic mail at <>.

Lastly, I would like to express my sincere thanks to FGV and RAT for their strong support of this event. My great appreciation will also go to all presenters and technical crews of RAT and simultaneous interpreter, Mr.. Humberto Amorin, for their extraordinary cooperation and help.

Thank you for your viewing.

Good nigh!!