Creating Global E-Learning and E-Healthcare
Global University System
be presented at
The 3rd eHealth Regional Symposium
January 26-27, 2003
(Part of the Arab Health Exhibition and Conference, January 26-29, 2003)
at Dubai International Exhibition Center, United Arab Emirates
The eHealth Center of Health Outreach & Business Affairs,
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH&RC) Healthcare System,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
(November 3, 2002)
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
Founder and Vice President for Technology & Coordination
Global University System (GUS)
Chairman, GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.
43-23 Colden Street
Flushing, NY 11355-3998 U.S.A.
Tel: +1-718-939-0928; Fax: +1-718-939-0656
P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D.
Acting President, Global University System
Unesco Chair in global eLearning
Professor and Chair of Media Education
University of Tampere
FIN-33101 Tampere, FINLAND
Tel: +358-3-614-5247; Fax: +358-3-215 7503
(Edited by Steve McCarty, October 5, 2002)
|II.||Global Trends and Associated Problems|
|B.||"Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" videoconferences|
|IV.||Global University System (GUS)|
|E.||GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair Program|
|G.||Officers of GUS|
|V.||Global Broadband Internet (GBI)|
|VI.||Amazon Project with CampusNet and Community Development Network|
|VII.||Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming|
|VIII.||Financing with Japanese ODA Funds|
|X.||Current Reference Websites|
|Biographies of Authors|
This paper describes the history, through the past three decades, and the philosophy of establishing our Global University System (GUS), which aims to build a higher level of humanity with mutual understanding across national and cultural boundaries for global peace.
The GUS helps higher educational institutions in remote/rural areas of developing countries to deploy broadband Internet in order for them to act as the knowledge center of their community. Those institutions will become members of our GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair Program. Their students will be able to take their courses from member institutions around the world to receive a GUS degree. They will also form a global knowledge forum for the exchange of ideas, information, knowledge and joint research and development with the use of an advanced global neural computer network as an example, a proposed Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming project will be briefly described.
The GUS program is a comprehensive and holistic approach to building smart communities in developing countries for e-learning and e-healthcare/telemedicine. Our Amazon Project consists of deploying the CampusNet which will connect six federal universities in the Amazon region by broadband satellite Internet, and Community Development Networks which will connect higher educational institutions, secondary and elementary schools, libraries, hospitals, local government offices and NGOs, etc., in the cities of the main campuses of the CampusNet-affiliated universities by broadband wireless Internet.
It will require a substantial amount of funds. We have been working to help the Japanese government pledge their Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds for closing the digital divide in developing countries for the eradication of poverty and isolation. GUS will emulate this approach in other developing countries around the world in the future.
In the beginning, there was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and
God was the Word.
Book of John (1:1)
The word is a basic unit of human communications for dialogue, which is the basis of diplomacy for global peace. The Greek origin of the "word" here is logos which is the origin of "logic," e.g., Yes or No, One (1) or Zero (0), which is the basis of digital computers and telecommunication, e.g., the Internet.
The dawn of the twenty-first century came with a digital revolution and economic globalization. We have been moving towards a global knowledge society where information skills and competence become the driving forces of social and economic development. Effective learning requires upgraded multimedia educational materials, preferably distributed and using broadband Internet applications. The use of these applications for global e-learning and e-healthcare/telemedicine must be efficient and cost-effective, enabling educational institutions to foster global citizenship and achieve "education and healthcare for all" at anytime, anywhere and at any pace. We believe that the Internet will be the main telecommunication media of tomorrow. Broadband Internet holds great promise for improving multimedia e-learning and e-healthcare capabilities in global scale, especially in rural and isolated areas that are not well served by commercial network providers.
The globalization of society and the rise of a knowledge-based economy have been combined in the past decade to impose drastically raised expectations upon higher education institutions. Governments and corporations look to universities for innovative uses of new information technologies in teaching and administration, while also expecting that universities will make their students sufficiently technology-literate to participate in a global economy. This vision of the new university emphasizes more than before the role of market forces in shaping the institution, the need to respond to users´ needs, and the need to deliver knowledge continuously through distance learning and lifelong learning. However, the vast majority of universities as well as the public and private organizations they work with are unprepared to reorganize themselves to address these new demands (Jacobs, J. S., 2002).
The Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research at the University of Hawaii (Toda, 2000) has identified three megatrends that characterize our own era and perhaps the rest of the 21st century, including globalization, regionalization, and democratization. The evolution of the global system must be clearly studied in the context of these trends (Varis, 2002).
Although the three trends are deeply intertwined, there are significant lags and leads among them. While globalization is rapidly moving forward under the leadership of transnational corporations (TNCs) and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as the United Nations, the World Bank, IMF, and WTO, regionalization and democratization have a significantly slower pace. Widening of wealth and income gaps within and among countries and regions of the world is calling for new modes of participation in global governance beyond the current nation-state system. Continuation of the growing gaps clearly undermines the social compact within and among nations and threatens global peace and stability.
Thanks to the most dramatically accelerating technological changes in recent decades, there is an urgent need to bring up youngsters with mutual understanding of intercultural issues and interdependencies of global affairs, by transcending traditional national boundaries and political ideologies, but firmly based on moral and ethical principles.
Therefore, a demand for a new renaissance education has emerged in Europe and the United States. It would combine science and technology with the arts, humanities and religion. In addition to this, new media and digital literacy are needed (Varis, 2000a). Media education should be aimed at children, parents and teachers and should be a lifelong process, which requires a coordinated approach also involving non-governmental organizations and media professionals (Parliamentary Assembly, 6 June 2000).
We are facing a third major educational invention in technology. The first was the phonetic alphabet, the second printing and now the third is telematics which means computers connected to networks. These changes were behind the ten recommendations of the European eLearning Summit in 2001. The idea is to remove barriers to access and connectivity, support professional development, accelerate eLearning innovation and content development, address the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills shortage, promote digital literacy and lifelong learning, and explore sustainable public and private partnerships.
The only thing to add now in the beginning of the 21st century is that education today means a global challenge and dialogue between great civilizations, old and new. Furthermore, it is more and more an open, lifelong learning process for all. There may be a technologically integrated world but with too much of a digital divide and conflicts of values.
The problem can only be addressed with a qualitatively new kind of approach to continuing learning for all generations using new pedagogical, institutional and intellectual solutions in a new renaissance spirit. Also quantitatively we must be able to reach the large, young populations of the developing countries.
The GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA) is a publicly supported, non-profit, educational service organization -- in fact a consortium of organizations -- dedicated to the use of evolving telecommunications and information technologies to further advance world peace through global communications. GLOSAS fosters science and technology-based economic development to improve the quality of life.
Over the past three decades, GLOSAS/USA has played a major pioneering role in extending U.S. data communication networks to other countries, particularly to Japan, and deregulating Japanese telecommunication policies for the use of e-mail through ARPANET, Telenet and Internet (thanks to help from the Late Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldridge) -- which is now called closing the digital divide. This triggered the de-monopolization and privatization of Japanese telecommunications industries. This liberalization of the telecommunication industry has been emulated and has now created a more enabling environment for economic and social development in many other countries. Over 180 countries have Internet access and more than 550 million people use e-mail around the world nowadays. American and other countries' university courses now reach many under-served developing countries.
Utsumi realized that text-oriented e-mail was not enough for distance learning, especially in engineering and medical education, which requires graphs, images and full-color, full-motion video. Since 1986, GLOSAS then organized and conducted a series of innovative distance teaching trials with multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferences using hybrid delivery technologies, which often spanned the globe and came to be called the "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" tm. It originated at university campuses in the U.S., Italy, Brazil and Hungary, etc. It employed inexpensive media accessible to less developed countries. This type of event was characterized by the involvement of participants at many sites, using several media to facilitate interactions among them. Participants in several countries could hear, talk, and see each other while using methods affordable for developing countries (Utsumi, September 20, 1998). Some recent GLHs were as follows:
The 1998 GLH was conducted in Manaus, Amazon, Brazil to demonstrate;
About 200 attendees (university faculties, K-12 school teachers, local government officers, etc.) witnessed their success, and firmly got the idea of the value of e-learning. We had very clear audio via Internet during this event, because EMBRATEL installed 3 broadband Internet satellite linkages with the US just prior to this event, indicating the vital necessity of broadband Internet.
The 1999 GLH was conducted during our workshop/conference at the University of Tampere in Finland (see below) with:
Both were very satisfactory from the standpoint of e-learning as well as medical diagnosis.
The 2000 GLH was held in Manaus with the following demonstrations:
After this event, our Brazilian colleague could form a CampusNet coalition of the six Federal Universities in the Amazon region see below. This event also encouraged the University of Amazonas to purchase a videoconferencing unit, and they have conducted several events with their counterparts around Brazil and even in Spain.
Thanks to such efforts, Utsumi had received the prestigious Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education in the fall of 1994 from Lord Perry, the founder of the U.K. Open University. The two-year senior recipient of the same award was Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the inventor of satellites.
With the support of generous funds from the Ministry of Education Finland, the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), the Information for Development Program (infoDev) administered by the World Bank, and many others, GLOSAS and the University of Tampere conducted a highly successful International Workshop and Conference on "Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning (EGEDL99)" in August, 1999 at the University of Tampere, Finland <http://www.uta.fi/EGEDL>.
The event brought together about 60 decision-makers and leaders in e-learning and telemedicine from 14 underserved countries who discussed practical solutions for the implementation of affordable global e-learning across national boundaries. They brainstormed, and the workshop recommended the formation of the Global University System (GUS) tm with Global Broadband Internet (GBI).
The group also formulated specific pilot projects focused on major regions of the world to reduce the growing digital divide between information-rich and information-poor populations, in order to realize education and healthcare for all, anywhere, anytime and at any pace.
Western philosophy is characterized by analytical, scientific, objective, rational and critical thinking, as exemplified by justice, equality and liberty in American values, while the Eastern approach is characterized by synthesis, literature and art with subjective and emotional thinking, as exemplified by truth, goodness and beauty in Kitaro Nishidas (1870-1945) philosophy. Neither can nor should dominate the other, but there should be close dialogues between them (Utsumi, June 24, 1998).
The Global University System (GUS) is adopting philosophies and principles that emphasize transcultural and moral values rather than ideologies. The priority is in academic freedom and quality in education.
The mission of GUS is not the mere enhancement of job skills with e-learning, but the creation of youngsters aiming for world peace and the eradication of poverty and isolation through the use of advanced ICT in remote/rural areas around the world.
The goal of GUS is to improve the global learning and wellness environment for people in the global knowledge society where all share a global responsibility. A central theme is the sharing and exchange of knowledge among the sectors of education-related research, industry and trade.
The objectives of GUS are:
The Global University System (GUS) is a network of networks formed in particular by higher education institutions, but also by other organizations sharing the same objectives of developing a co-operation based on solidarity and partnership.
The GUS has group activities in the major regions of the globe to establish pilot projects. Each of them, with partnerships of higher learning and healthcare institutions, will foster the establishment of GUS in their respective regions, with the use of an advanced global broadband Internet virtual private network. They will then become members of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair program (UNESCO, 2002). The GUS at the University of Tampere, Finland is the headquarters for the members.
When Global Broadband Internet (GBI) is available and interconnects member institutions of the GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair Program, we can expect the following:
In a sense, our GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair program is to construct a global scale knowledge forum with advanced ICT, e.g., with the use of massive parallel processors of globally distributed and yet interconnected mini-supercomputers around the world through Global Broadband Internet (GBI) in a global neural computer network (see below) (Converse, R., September, 2002), (Sterling, 2001), (Access Grid, 2002), (Sun Microsystems, 2002).
The officers of the GUS are: P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D., Acting President, (University of Tampere, former rector of the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica); Marco Antonio Dias, T.C.D., Vice-President for Administration, (former director of Higher Education of UNESCO); Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., Vice-President for Technology and Coordination, (Chairman of GLOSAS/USA). The trustee members are: Dr. Pekka Tarjanne, (former Director-General of the ITU) and Dr. Federico Mayor, (President of the Foundation for Culture of Peace and former Director-General of the UNESCO). The special advisors are: David A. Johnson, Ph.D., (Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee) and Fredric Michael Litto, Ph.D., (President of the Brazilian Association of Distance Education at the University of Sao Paulo).
A true revolution in e-learning and telemedicine requires high-speed access to the World Wide Web, and the flexibility to offer a variety of media. These might include two-way audio, full-motion video-conferencing up to MPEG4 quality, television-quality netcasting, and high-resolution image transfer for telemedicine. Such capabilities require medium to broad bandwidth. Developing countries need broadband Internet via international satellite and fiber-optic cable. The objective of increasing quality of audio/video delivery, high interactivity, and system throughput can be seen as a global objective of closing the digital divide to improve e-learning and e-healthcare services (Utsumi, Varis, Knight, Method, Pelton, 2001, p.4-8).
The GUS will foster the development of e-learning and telemedicine pilot projects using broadband Internet technology in order to enhance their teaching/learning capabilities. The GUS will also facilitate connectivity among current e-learning efforts around the world and will provide support and guidance to selected pilot projects serving as models for adoption around the world.
Each regional satellite hub of the GUS will be connected with its counterparts in developed countries with the use of digital satellites across continents and oceans. However, if possible, it is desirable to use optical fiber terrestrial lines to avoid time delay latency for the round trip to/from a geostationary satellite. This is because latency, especially if more than one satellite hop is required, inhibits effective audio conversation, which is an absolute necessity for videoconferencing.
Each regional satellite hub will then be connected to regional constituent member organizations (elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, libraries, hospitals, local governmental agencies, etc.) in mid-range (50 to 200 miles apart from each other) using microwave broadband (1.5 to 45 Mbps) Internet networks.
Those organizations will then disseminate the broadband Internet service further to similar nearby (up to 25 miles) organizations using wireless spread spectrum broadband (3 to 10 Mbps) Internet networks, which do not require licenses in most countries. This is the so-called fixed wireless approach requiring line-of-sight, and hence this technology can be used only between buildings.
The users have to belong to the organizations using the buildings, hence prohibiting the use of the broadband Internet by individual outreach students at their homes. The buildings with a broadband Internet connection will then also become relay points for the third generation mobile wireless units at 96 Kbps or up to 300 Kbps, or better yet utilizing the Wi-Fi networks with 802.11b protocol at 10 Mbps at free of charge, both of which are now rapidly appearing in Japan, USA and Europe. This advanced mobile wireless unit with laptop computer will make possible e-learning for anyone, anywhere, and anytime with capabilities of Internet telephony, fax, voice mail, e-mail, Web access, videoconferencing, etc.
This is not only to help local community development, but also to assure close cooperation among higher, middle and lower levels of education, e.g., for teacher training, courseware development, etc. In a sense, the regional satellite hub is to be the major Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the global virtual private (exclusive) network (VPN) for not-for-profit organizations in the region, and the gateway to the outside world.
Our Amazon Project consists of deploying:
1. CampusNet which will connect six federal universities in the Amazon region by broadband satellite Internet, and
2. Community Development Networks which will connect higher education, secondary and elementary schools, libraries, hospitals, local government offices and NGOs, etc. in the cities of main campuses of the CampusNet-affiliated universities by broadband wireless Internet.
We plan to deploy the CampusNet and the Community Development Networks with the Japanese governments Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds, following the suit of the University of South Pacific in Fiji which connected nearby islands with narrow-band Internet satellite with US$13 million from the Japanese, $1 million each from the New Zealand and Australian governments, respectively. Incidentally, the Brazilian government has already pledged US$2.8 million for the CampusNet. The CampusNet will be elevated from a local project to become part of a Brazilian national network of higher education when we deploy it with the Japanese governments ODA funds.
We hope that our Amazon project (and its extension later) will soon facilitate the participation of medical education institutions, e.g, the Pan American Federation of Associations of Medical Schools, PAFAMS, which has 389 medical schools in the Americas, of which some 247 are located south of the Rio Grande including the Caribbean region. The 95 affiliated Brazilian medical schools are an important building block in their activities. This plan will contribute to the much-needed social contract to benefit the populations through better education and quality of healthcare, further developing the urgently needed training and education of health professionals, as well as related personnel and the community through e-health technology. Indeed, health professionals are already linked to a university and educational network in the heart of Brazil (Pulido, September 2002).
Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming (GCEPG) (Utsumi, 1991) with a globally distributed computer simulation system is a computerized gaming/simulation to help decision makers construct a globally distributed decision-support system for positive sum/win-win alternatives to conflict and war.
The idea involves interconnecting experts in many countries via global Internet to collaborate in the discovering of 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. (An example of its use could be testing the validity of the Bush administrations rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on global environmental protection.)
Gaming/simulation is the best tool we have for understanding the world's problems and the solutions we propose for them. The understanding gained with scientific and rational analysis and critical thinking would be the basis of world peace, and hence ought to provide the basic principles of global education for peace.
Along with the establishment of GUS with the GBI and E-Rate for K-12 schools, we will forge ahead to disseminate Systems Dynamics methodology (Forrester, 1996) in order to realize this GCEPG through a Global Neural Computer Network (*) particularly, we would hope, with the participation of K-12 youngsters around the world. They could collaboratively exercise systems analysis, policy-making, crisis management and negotiation skills for global socio-economic, energy and environmental issues via global Internet.
Deployment of the high-speed Internet for education and health applications in developing countries would hopefully be financed with the ODA funds of the governments of developed countries, utilizing available satellite and optical-fiber facilities to further the cause of closing the worldwide digital divide for e-learning, e-healthcare/telemedicine and other social services such as emergency warning and rescue.
This approach directly addresses the digital divide at the international level. Although many countries (including some developing countries) are now geared to establish broadband Internet, their initiatives are mainly domestic. There is currently no international organization that provides such a network across national boundaries, continents, and oceans, for use by non-profit organizations, e.g., for e-learning or e-healthcare, by libraries and local governments. This international gap is now a major cause of network congestion, and there is an urgent need to close it in a rapidly globalizing world society.
This approach would create strong incentives for an improved policy and regulatory environment in developing and transitional countries, increase broad bandwidth available free or at subsidized rates for qualifying educational and health projects in developing countries -- that is, projects investing in people -- requiring broad bandwidth, and would involve collaboration between the public and private sectors. This might be done by a voluntary international mechanism akin to the "E-Rate" now benefiting schools in the United States.
In the future, our GUS approach will also seek (1) donations of under-utilized bandwidth (transponder space, fiber capacity) from telecommunications companies and (2) Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) funds of countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with multi-lateral collaboration.
Utsumi helped the Japanese government pledge US$15 billion to close the digital divide in developing countries during the Okinawa Summit in July of 2000. Mr. Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan, made another pledge of US$2 billion to aid education and healthcare in developing countries during the G8 Summit in Canada in June of 2002, and at the Environment Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in September of 2002, respectively.
Our projects will combine (1) the Japanese government's ODA funds and (2) Japanese electronic equipment (computers, tranceivers, dish antennas, etc.) with (a) the Internet technology and (b) content development of North America, to help underserved people in rural and remote areas of developing countries by closing the digital divide.
GUS will emulate this approach in other developing countries around the world in the future, e.g., Cuba, Venezuela, Nigeria, Malawi, etc., from which GUS has already received preliminary inquiries and requests.
The Tampere workshop mentioned above was a study in contrasts, and clearly showed the enormous gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots." On the one hand, some of the players have tremendous resources with which to deploy broadband wireless technology; on the other hand, some must operate on a shoestring budget, and even lack adequate basic wireline services as a starting point. A major challenge will be to identify technology that will be appropriate (in terms of start-up and operating costs, sustainability by local people, etc.) in the "have-not" situations.
Thanks to our highly successful event in Tampere, Finland, substantial momentum for our global initiative is now building up to have follow-up workshops and conferences to forge ahead in the establishment of the GUS with GBI by multilateral collaboration.
Converse, R. (September, 2002), "Beowulf Mini-Supercomputer Network with Access Grid Project":
Forrester, J. W. (May 30, 1996), "System Dynamics and K-12 Teachers":
Jacobs, J. S. (2002), "Strategic Use of Technology in Higher Education" and "Sustainable Development in Amazonias":
Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe (6 June 2000), Doc. 8753: "Media Education."
Pulido, P., (September 2002), Private communication.
Sterling, T. (July 2001), "How to build a hyper computer," Scientific American, pp. 38-45.
Sun Microsystems (2002), Global Grid Computing Network:
Toda (2000), Toda Annual Report, University of Hawaii: Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research.
UNESCO (September 25, 2002):
Utsumi, T., "Global University for Global Peace Gaming," Paper presented at the 22nd International Conference of the International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA), Kyoto, Japan (15-19 July, 1991):
Utsumi, T., (June 24, 1998), Chapter 3/Section 1 of a book draft: "Electronic Global University System and Services":
Utsumi, T., (September 20, 1998), Chapter 2 of a book draft: "Electronic Global University System and Services."
Utsumi, T., Varis, T., Knight, P., Method, F., Pelton, J.: "Using broadband to close the digital divide," Intermedia, (April 2001), Vol.29, No 2.
Varis, T. (2002), "Building Higher Humanity with a Global University System," Paper presented at the World Forum of UNESCO Chairs, (13-15 November 2002), Paris:
Varis, T. (2000a), Approaches to media literacy and e-Learning: European Commission Workshop; "Image Education and Media Literacy," (November 16th, 2000), Brussels:
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., is Chairman of GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the USA (GLOSAS/USA) and Vice President for Technology and Coordination of the Global University System (GUS) <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS>. He is the 1994 Laureate of the Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education. His public services have included political work for deregulation of global telecommunications and the use of e-mail through ARPANET, Telenet and Internet; helping extend American university courses to developing countries; the conduct of innovative distance teaching trials with "Global Lecture Hall" multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferences using hybrid technologies; as well as lectures, consultation, and research in process control, management science, systems science and engineering at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T. and many other universities, governmental agencies, and large firms in Japan and other countries. Among more than 150 related scientific papers and books are presentations to the Summer Computer Simulation Conferences (which he created and named) and the Society for Computer Simulation International. He is a member of various scientific and professional groups, including the Chemists Club (New York, NY); Columbia University Seminar on Computer, Man and Society (New York, NY); Fulbright Association (Washington, D.C.); International Center for Integrative Studies (ICIS) (New York, NY); and Society of Satellite Professionals International (Washington, D.C.). Dr. Utsumi received his Ph.D. Ch.E. from Polytechnic University in New York, M.S.Ch.E. from Montana State University, after study at the University of Nebraska on a Fulbright scholarship. His professional experiences in simulation and optimization of petrochemical and refinery processes were at Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo; Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., Boston; Mobil Oil Corporation and Shell Chemical Company, New York; and Asahi Chemical Industries, Inc., Tokyo.
* Tapio Varis, Ph.D., is currently Professor and Chair of Media Education, earlier Media Culture and Communication Education at the University of Tampere, Finland (Research Centre for Vocational Education, and Hypermedia Laboratory), and UNESCO Chair in global e-Learning with applications to multiple domains. He is Acting President of the Global University System (GUS). Formerly he was Rector of the University for Peace in Costa Rica, and Professor of Media Studies at the University of Lapland, Finland. He has been a consultant on new learning technologies for the Finnish Ministry of Education, and expert on media and digital literacy for the EC, Council of Europe, Nordic Research Councils, and many Finnish and foreign universities. He is a member of the European Union's PROMETEUS Steering Committee and Adviser to several international organizations. In 1996-97, he was UNESCO Chair of Communication Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. He has also been a faculty member of the European Peace University (Austria), Communication and Media Scholar at the University of Helsinki and at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. He has published approximately 200 scientific contributions which are listed at his Website: <http://www.uta.fi/~titava/publications00.html> with additional biographical information (in Finnish). In 2001 he received The Rochester Intercultural Conferences 1995-2001 award as "an outstanding European scholar in intercultural and international communication." In addition to Finnish, he is fluent in English, Spanish, German, and Swedish.