GUS to Become a Member of

(March 24, 2001)


P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D, Professor
Acting President, Global University System
University of Tampere

Marco Antonio R. Dias, T.C.D. (Third Cycle Diploma)
Vice President of Administration, Global University System
Consultant of United Nations University

Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
Vice President for Technology and Coordination, Global University System
Chairman, GLOSAS/USA

Table of Contents

Rational to Become a Member of UNITWIN Program of UNESCO

    I. Introduction
    II. Background
    B. Past Activities
    C. Tampere Workshop
    III. Global University System (GUS)
    A. Goal
    B. Officers
    C. Regional Activities
    1. GUS/Ukraine
    2. GUS/Manaus, Amazon, Brazil
    3. GUS/Philippines
    4. GUSs in Other Regions
    IV. Global Broadband Internet (GBI) (Figure 1)
    V. Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) (Figure 2)
    A. Objective
    B. Expected Benefits
    C. Funding Sources
    D. Conditionality
    E. Coalition
    F. Administration
    G. Launching Event and Incubating Organization
    H. Pilot Projects
    VI. Conclusions
    VII. Current Reference Websites
    VIII. Contact
    Biographies of Authors
    Figure 1
    Figure 2

Rational to Become a Member of UNITWIN Program of UNESCO

In the past three decades, we endevoured to close “digital divide” and conducted innovative distance teaching trials with "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" (TM) videoconferences using hybrid delivery technologies with strong support of Dr. Federico Mayor, former Director-General, Dr. Colin N. Power, former Assistant Director-General for Education, and many UNESCO officers in Paris and various countries -- some of them have long been our listserve members as being kept updated with our daily progress.

We are now establishing a Global University System (GUS) with collaborating groups in major regions of the world, e.g., Pacific/Asia, North America, Central America, South America, Africa and Europe. Each of those groups, with partnerships of higher learning and healthcare institutions, will foster the establishment of GUS in their respective regions, with the use of Global Broadband Internet (GBI) which to be financed by the Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF).

This is to close the growing “digital divide” between information rich and information poor populations with the implementation of affordable global e-learning across national boundaries, as realizing “Education and Healthcare for All,” at anywhere, anytime and at any pace.

The goals and activities of our GUS (which are outlined briefly below) meet well with the ones of the UNITWIN Program of the UNESCO for the GUS to become one of its members.

I. Introduction

The dawn of the twenty-first century comes with a digital revolution and economic globalization with a New Economy. We are moving towards a global knowledge society where information, skills, and competence become the driving forces of social and economic development. Effective learning can be greatly facilitated by upgraded multimedia educational materials using broadband Internet applications. The use of these applications for global e-learning and e health/e-medicine 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. 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.

II. Background


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.

B. Past Activities

Over the past three decades GLOSAS/USA 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 digital divide.” This triggered the de-monopolization and privatization of Japanese telecommunications industries. This movement has later been emulated in many other countries. This liberalization of the telecommunication industry has now created a more enabling environment for economic and social development in many other countries. Now over 180 countries have Internet access and more than 377 million people are using e-mail around the world. American and other countries' university courses now reach many under-served developing countries. GLOSAS has contributed by conducting innovative distance teaching trials with "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" (TM) multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferences using hybrid delivery technologies. Thanks to these efforts, Dr. Takeshi Utsumi, one of authors, received a prestigious Lord Perry Award for the Excellence in Distance Education in the fall of 1994 from Lord Perry, the founder of the U.K. Open University. The three year senior recipient of the award is Dr. Yash Pa, former Minister of Science and Technology of India, the two year senior is Sir Arthur C. Clark, the inventor of satellite, one year senior is Dr. Chavitz, former Minister of Education of Colombia and UN Ambassador.

References for the above can be found in Dr. Utsumi’s book draft at;

Chapter 1:
3.2 Effort of extending U.S. VANs to overseas
3.5 De-regulation of the Japanese telecommunications policy for the use of e mail through the U.S. government
Chapter 2: "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)"
Chapter 3:
Section 2: Acceptance Speech of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education

C. Tampere Workshop

With the support of generous funds from Alprint, the British Council, Finnair, Finnish Broadcasting Company, the Ministry of Education Finland, Sonera, Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute, the United States Information Agency (USIA), the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Information and 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 (EGEDL’99)" in August, 1999 at the University of Tampere, Finland <>.

The event brought together about 60 decision-makers and leaders in e-learning and e-medicine 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 following three interrelated organizations;

1. Global University System (GUS) (TM),
2. Global Broadband Internet (GBI),
3. Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) (TM).

The group also formulated specific pilot projects focussed on major regions of the world to reduce the growing digital divide between information rich and information poor populations, as realizing “education and healthcare for all,” at anywhere, anytime and at any pace.

For more information, click “Current Reference Websites” at the tope of the home page of our web site at <>.

III. Global University System (GUS)

A. Goal

The goal of the GUS is to improve the global learning and wellness environment for people in the global knowledge society where the global responsibility is shared by all. A central theme is the sharing and exchange of knowledge among educational, research, industry and trade sectors. The GUS will (1) seek open, egalitarian and culturally transparent methods to achieve improved learning and healthcare worldwide, cooperating closely with people around the world, (2) harness the emerging technologies of broadband Internet connectivity among institutions of higher learning in developing countries to provide learners of all ages with global e-learning across national and cultural boundaries, (3) nurture the intellectual development of youngsters around the world through creative competition for excellence with affordable and accessible broadband Internet, (4) coordinate and facilitate national and international regional systems which will support and complement the traditional institutions of learning and healthcare, by using conventional methods in tandem with advanced electronic media.

B. Officers

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 the Higher Education of the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO));
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., Vice President for Technology and Coordination,
(Chairman of GLOSAS/USA);
Pekka Tarjanne, Ph.D., Trustee member,
(former Director-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU))
Fredric Litto, Ph.D., Special Advisor,
(University of Sao Paulo and President of Brazilian Association of Distance Education);
David A. Johnson, Ph.D., Special Advisor,
(University of Tennessee, Former President of Fulbright Association).

C. Regional Activities

The GUS has group activities in the major regions of the globe. They are developing their pilot projects in;

(1) the Asia-Pacific region (with Manila in the Philippines as its first target, and then with Japan, China, Pakistan, Western and South Pacific),
(2) North America (for indigenous peoples in the states of Arizona and Montana and in Calgary in Canada),
(3) Central America (e.g., Costa Rica and the Caribbean),
(4) South America (mainly with UNAMAZ consortium in Amazon basin in initial stage, Argentina, etc.),
(5) Europe (firstly with Estonia, Barcelona and Ukraine), and
(6) Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, etc.).

Each of these regional groups, 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 which to be financed by the Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) -- see below.

Each of these regional groups are now preparing to hold a mini-workshop;

1. to learn by the North American and European counterparts the current status of e learning and e-medicine (including the delivery infrastructure) of the regional groups in the developing countries,
2. to learn the need of the regional groups in the future,
3. to present what can be (or will be) available from North America and Europe,
a. via narrow-band Internet and ISDN, etc., i.e., through currently available telecom infrastructure,
b. via broadband Internet when it is available,
4. to configure administrative and business schemes,
5. to make an action plan,
6. to plan, program and construct a joint fund raising proposal for a workshop/conference (as to follow-up to our Tampere event) with the people of the region. This event is to produce a concrete feasibility study, design of infrastructure and administrative structure, selection of courseware, etc.

Some of major regional activities are as follows.

1. GUS/Ukraine

Ukraine was chosen as the first targeted country for the operation of the European Regional Group of the GUS to establish a global e-learning system with global broadband Internet. The Open University/UK, the GUS and Ukrainian Distance Learning System (UDL) (a consortium of 27 Ukrainian organizations) <> is now planning to hold a workshop at the Open University. The UDL has been offering a dozen e-learning courses, mainly in business administration field. In close co-operation with the Open University, a Memorandum of Understanding was developed <http://www.friends- %20System/Memo_of_Understanding/Cover_Sheet.html>.

The main purpose of this workshop are;
(a) to configure the extension of e-learning courses available from the Open University/U.K. to Ukraine through the currently available Internet,
(b) to plan a grant application for a workshop in Ukraine and for feasibility study/market survey of implementing a broadband Internet to Ukraine which application will be submitted to the InfoDev of the World Bank and other funding sources in Europe.

At this workshop, the Ukrainian delegation will establish new institutional partnerships in order to expand the market of educational services, to create market for e-learning in Ukraine, professional development of local tutors for teaching in Ukraine and course content adaptation, quality and international quality standards, managing for quality in e-learning to receive professional recognition or accreditation (assessment of college's administrative and tutorial methods, educational materials, and publicity), and cross-cultural approach and joint research work.

2. GUS/Manaus, Amazon, Brazil

South America is the home of one of the world's unique environment, the Amazon Rainforest. The region was considered as an empty area in terms of human population density, particularly in the Brazilian side. Recently, the media called the world's attention to the deforestation and biodiversity loss problems that were happening in the region. The world was also concerned about the increasing problems associated with drugs. Those problems were clear indication that the empty area was starting to suffer the consequences of human activities.

These problems can be substantially minimized if the isolation problem is addressed. Isolation makes people unaware of their importance as citizens and promotes impoverishing and degradation of the environment and economic system. In these situations, people will not understand the importance to conserve the environment or how to benefit from it without compromise their own future as well as the future of future generations. Ultimately, such unawareness can perpetuate a cycle of economic and social poverty and environmental degradation.

The implementation of modern low-cost communication technology can drastically reduce the risks threatening the region. A broadband communication network connecting major universities in Amazona will promote the exchange of scientific information through universities of UNAMAZ (a consortium of 77 universities in 8 Amazonian countries), access to non-traditional education format, development of pharmaceutical and other industries associated to biodiversity, development of entrepreneurial activities related to e-learning and opportunities to cultural integration and understanding among the countries in the region. In addition, such a strong network will develop means and opportunities to establish a broadband connection with the rest of the world and to reduce or eliminate the current intercontinental connection constraints.

As the first step, colleagues in Manaus is now preparing a grant application which is to be submitted to the InfoDev of the World Bank and other funding sources,

(a) to configure the availability of e-learning courses locally through the currently available Internet,
(b) to hold a workshop in Manaus for feasibility study/market survey of implementing a broadband Internet in Manaus.

This project is a community development approach, firstly connecting non-profit organizations (elementary, secondary and higher education institutions, libraries, hospitals, local governmental agencies, etc.) and secondly with for-profit organizations, thus all applicable groups are inclusive. This activity is to be a model replicable to other localities and regions, as leading the use of the advanced Internet in various sectors of societies. The higher educational institution selected in the locality will have the broadband Internet satellite earth-station, and will become the major Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the local community of non-profit organizations. The higher education institution will then provide teacher training to secondary and elementary schools, and also act as facilitators and technical supporters to other non-profit organizations.

It is expected that interaction among the main universities of the international Amazona will contribute to disseminate information about alternatives to promote sustainable development in Amazona. At the same time, the region's population will have better access to healthcare information, which will contribute for a better quality of life. In addition, a number of e learning courses will be developed what will decrease isolation and offer better opportunities for those living in the region. More information can be retrieved at;


3. GUS/Philippines

The GUS in the Philippines is a subset of the GUS. This system in the Philippines will support GUS development and activities. They have recently formed a consortium of the St. Luke’s College of Medicine, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), the University of Santo Thomas (UST), the University of the Philippines/Open University, and STI Network of Colleges and Education Centers.

The consortium will establish e-learning demonstration projects in cooperation with the US counterparts as exploring technical capabilities and options, as well as match educational needs and resources, for the delivery of affordable, needs based e-learning in the Philippines and between the Philippines and the US, thus realizing global collaboration and partnership to ensure students’ potential for learning.

The consortium is now preparing a workshop at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and at the St. Luke College of Medicine in the fall of 2001 (tentative) with funds from the US National Science Foundation, Citicorp, and other donors.

This mini-workshop will collectively brainstorm on the formalization and solidification of the pilot project on international e-learning between the Philippines and the U.S..

The goals and objectives of the workshop are to:

1. Promote accessible, affordable global e-learning;
2. Increase understanding of different cultural conditions, values and needs;
3. Emphasize values of sustainability and equality;
4. Link enthusiasts with decision-makers and funding resources;
5. Identify pilot projects that will lead to full scale e-learning; and
6. Discuss standardization of courses, credits, accreditation.
The purposes of the workshop are to:
1. Introduce the aforementioned pilot project to Filipino,
2. Learn from Filipino about,
a. current status of e-learning and e-medicine (including the delivery infrastructure),
b. their need in the future, particularly when a broadband Internet will be available,
3. Present what can be (or will be) available from North America,
a. via narrow-band Internet and ISDN, etc., i.e., through currently available telecom infrastructure,
b. via broad-band Internet when it is available,
4. Discuss and plan the theme and program of the larger workshop/conference (as to the follow-up to our Tampere event -- for 3 to 4 or 5 days);
a. to formalize the draft of the pilot project proposal,
b. to make the feasibility study, action plan, etc. to realize the project of establishing domestic and international e-learning and e-medicine,
i. firstly, via the currently available narrow-band Internet,
ii. in the near future, via the proposed global broadband wireless and satellite Internet,
c. to configure administrative and business schemes,
d. to construct joint funding proposals.

The e-presence demonstration with echocardiography will be performed at the St. Luke’s College of Medicine by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, and Georgetown University of Washington, D.C., though the latter is still tentative. For the former, the echocardiograph signal of a patient on a tread mill in Manila will be sent to Michigan for diagnosis, as we did during our Tampere event in Finland with Columbia University in New York City in August, 1999 -- see;

However, this time, the 3D image of his heart will also be constructed as an upgraded feature. Both will be disseminated in real-time to the participants around the world via ISDN and Internet through the facilities of PUP-ICTC (where about 100 participants will also view this activity) and of Houston Community College. This is a follow-up to our similar demonstration made during our Manaus, Amazon, Brazil event on May 31 to June 2, 2000 which is mentioned above.

This demonstration is also to open the eyes of decision-makers for the value of broadband Internet so that they will install it in remote/rural areas of developing countries at their earliest possible time.

The global broadband Internet infrastructure will also provide exciting opportunities for distance/distributed learning. Workshop presentations will explore applications, as well as technical strengths and weaknesses for sharing education, information, and resources throughout the world. Discussions are well underway among conference participants regarding the development and dissemination of education for engineers, healthcare providers, emergency medical professionals, and primary and secondary teachers.

The expected outcome of the workshop are:

After this mini-workshop, proposals for a large workshop (similar to our Tampere event) on the initiation of feasibility study to deploy broadband Internet for education and healthcare which is to be held in Manila, will be prepared and submitted to the World Bank and other appropriate funding agencies.

The completed feasibility study and market survey will be used for obtaining funds from the Japanese government for deploying private virtual network with broadband wireless and satellite Internet for the consortium members in Manila, the Philippines. This is to emulate the highly successful USPNet of the University of South Pacific in Fiji with a dozen nearby island countries which project was funded (US$11 million) by the governments of Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

4. GUSs in Other Regions

Colleagues in other regions mentioned above are at various stages of preparing similar workshop in their localities.

IV. Global Broadband Internet (GBI) (Figure 1)

A true revolution in e-learning and e-medicine 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 MPEG2 quality, television-quality netcasting, and high resolution image transfer for e-medicine. 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 digital divide for improving e learning and e-health services.

GUS will foster the development of e-learning and e-medicine 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 intended to serve 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 line to avoid time delay latency for the round trip to/from 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.

The 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 broadband Internet connection will then also become relay points for the so-called “third generation mobil wireless” units which are now rapidly appearing in the market, e.g., 96 Kbps or up to 300 Kbps Internet access in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. This advanced mobil wireless unit with laptop/notebook 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 assure close cooperation among higher, middle and lower levels of education, e.g., for teacher training, and 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.

V. Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) (Figure 2)

A. Objective

Deployment of this high-speed Internet for education and health applications in developing countries would be financed with a Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) which will use available satellite and optical-fiber facilities to further the cause of worldwide digital divide for e learning, e-health/e-medicine and other social services such as emergency warning and rescue.

The GSTF responds directly to several of the injunctions of the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society <> to:

“...foster an appropriate policy and regulatory environment to stimulate competition and innovation, ensure economic and financial stability, advance stakeholder collaboration to optimize global networks, fight abuses that undermine the integrity of the network, bridge the digital divide, invest in people, and promote global access and participation,”
and calling on,
“...all, within both the public and private sectors to bridge the international information and knowledge divide.”

Objective steps must be taken to:

B. Expected Benefits

The GSTF 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 the use by non-profit organizations, e.g., e-learning, e-healthcare, 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.

The GSTF would create strong incentives for an improved policy and regulatory environment in developing and transitional countries, increase bandwidth available free or at subsidized rates for educational and health projects -- that is projects investing in people -- requiring broad bandwidth, and would involve collaboration between the public and private sectors.

The GSTF will make available broad bandwidth free or at below market prices for qualifying education and health projects in developing countries. Ideally, funding would be sufficient to eliminate or greatly reduce the telecommunications cost for qualified education and healthcare applications. This might be done by a voluntary international mechanism akin to the "E-Rate" now benefiting schools in the United States.

C. Funding Sources

The proposed GSTF would be financed from a variety of private and public sources, which could include following two donor sources:

(1) Bandwidth transmission source which is to be offered in-kind by telecommunications companies with under-utilized bandwidth (transponder space, fiber capacity).
The bandwidth source might be allocated through a variety of means that might even include an auction process to organizers of e-learning and e-medicine projects in qualifying countries. Providers of services, might be required to make some commitments of resources and in-kind participation to qualify to use the GSTF’s assets.
For these companies, the marginal cost of making available under-used existing bandwidth is near zero, but providing it may build future markets for sale at (declining) commercial prices.
(2) Financial assistance source which is offered by organizations possessing financial resources (foundations; multinational corporations, international organizations, individual donors, etc.).
The financial source might be used for grants to such projects, with rules favoring poorer countries and end beneficiaries, assuring a certain geographical distribution of benefits between regions, and so forth. Grants might also favor international knowledge sharing. All grants would be made through open competitive process.

The latter could also include:

D. Conditionality

There would be some policy conditionality (telecommunications, education, health). This conditionality and operational criteria will be established in a participatory fashion by working groups convened by ITU, UNESCO, and the World Health Organization (WHO). Major stakeholders -- nations, international organizations, private companies, NGOs, etc. -- would be invited to help determine the minimum acceptable policy framework intended to create an enabling environment for the development of both broad bandwidth infrastructure and applications of this infrastructure to meet development needs.

Working groups on these policy conditionalities, and operational aspects of the Fund and the Coalition be convened respectively by ITU, UNESCO, WHO, and the World Bank. These working groups would include representatives of other interested international organizations, bilateral aid agencies, companies, foundations, and other NGOs, as well as of relevant information and telecommunications industry organizations, e.g., the Global Information Infrastructure Commission.

E. Coalition

The Coalition for this GSTF ideally would include a broad spectrum of commercial and governmental sources. These might include key international organizations such as ITU, UNESCO, WHO, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) plus commercial satellite system providers, fiber optic operators, equipment manufacturers and providers of e-learning and e-health services. The Coalition would also include international development banks, bilateral aid agencies, foundations, and various types of companies contributing to the GSTF as well as organizations contributing education and healthcare knowledge. No legitimate agency of standing would be excluded from participating.

F. Administration

A credible, reliable, and competent structure will be established to administer the GSTF for the allocation of both the in-kind donations of under-used bandwidth (which would be solicited from its owners), as well as the financial resources (which can be used to purchase bandwidth). One possibility is that the World Bank would provide the secretariat, making use of the same legal infrastructure established for the Information and Development Program (InfoDev). The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is another possible host, and others could be envisioned, e.g., an independent neutral entity under the auspices of UNESCO, WHO, ITU, ILO, the World Bank Group, UNDP, etc., with active participation by working groups to be convened by these organizations. These working groups would include representatives of other interested organizations, such as INTELSAT, WorldSpace, foundations, other NGOs, private companies involved in telecommunications, other private companies interested in e-learning and e health/e-medicine, bilateral aid agencies, regional development banks, and the like.

G. Launching Event and Incubating Organization

This activity, including a high-level meeting of global leaders to launch the GSTF, is now being adopted by the [Arthur C.] Clarke Institute of Telecommunications and Information (CITI) <> and coordinated through GLOSAS/USA and the GUS.

H. Pilot Projects

The organizers of this project have already identified a number of potential pilot projects for the GSTF. These include several projects of the Global University System (which are mentioned above); the Millennium Satellite System for the Digital Divide; the Biosphere Project (which is a part of UNESCO’s Man And Biosphere (MAB) program); Canal Futura Africano -– A 24-Hour-a-Day Portuguese Language Educational Television Service for Africa; Conversion of Zimbabwe Open University to Decentralized Web-Based Learning and Satellite Web-Based Delivery for the South Institute of Information Technology in Pakistan. These projects are already in a relatively advanced state of preparation and could be implemented rapidly as GSTF funding becomes available.

VI. Conclusions

The Tampere meeting 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 which will be appropriate (in terms of start-up and operating costs, maintainability 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 the establishment of the GUS with GBI and GSTF by multilateral collaborations.

As a result of the G-8 meetings held in Okinawa, Japan, in July 2000, important initiatives have been started, and the GLOSAS projects described here fall clearly within the suggestions for action in the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society.

VII. Current Reference Websites

VIII. Contact

P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D, Professor
Acting President, Global University System
Chairman, GLOSAS/Finland
Professor and Chair
Media Culture and Communication Education
Hypermedia laboratory
University of Tampere
FIN-33101 Tampere
Tel: +358-3-614-5247--office in Hameenlinna
GSM: +358-50-567-9833
Fax: +358-3-215 7503

Marco Antonio R. Dias, T.C.D. (Third Cycle Diploma)
Vice President, Global University System
Consultant of United Nations University
Former Director, Division of Higher Education of UNESCO
36, Rue Ernest Renan
92.190 Meudon
Tel: +33-1-45 34 3509
+33-1-45-68-3009 (UNU office in Paris)
Fax: +33-1-45 34 3509

Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
Chairman, GLOSAS/USA
President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of Global University System (GUS)
43-23 Colden Street
Flushing, NY 11355-3998
Tel: 718-939-0928
Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email)

Biographies of Authors

Marco Antonio Rodrigues Dias, T.C.D. (Third Cycle Diploma) was a journalist in the sixties. He worked for several newspapers in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) and Sao Paulo. He was director of "Folha de Minas" (1963), editor of "Ultima Hora-SP" (1965) and director of Radio Jornal de Minas (1968-69).

In 1963, he was adviser of the Ministry of Education Paulo de Tarso Santos, in charge of links with the Parliament, member of a team highlighted by the presence of experts such as Paulo Freyre, Herbert JosÇ de Souza (Betinho) and others.

BS (Bacharelado-five years) in Law by the Federal University of Minas Gerais (1964), he completed previously a course on Philosophy in Rio de Janeiro (three years). Later he got a diploma of "troisiäme cycle" at the University of Paris (1968) at the French Institute of Press and Information Sciences (Communication).

Author of several articles, chapter of books, documents on communication, education, political matters, published in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. In 1993, the Catholic Pontificial University of Minas Gerais published "O fato e a vers o do fato - um jornalista nos anos sessenta".

During almost 18 years, from October 1981 to February 1999, he was director of the Division of Higher Education in UNESCO, in charge of coordinating the program on higher education of the organization at the world level. He represented UNESCO at the Council of United Nations University (Tokyo), launched and coordinated the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme of this organization and was the main organizer of the World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE) which took place in Paris from 5 to 9 October 1998.

Retired since February 1999, he was invited to become member of several councils such as the Advisory Council of the College of Americas of IUO -Interamerican University Organization; of the Research Institute of ANDIFES, the Association of Public Universities in Brazil; of the International Advisory Council of UNI-Sol (Universities Solidarity for the Health of Disadvantaged) a network of universities created by an international conference held in Arizona (USA) in 1999, under the parrainage of WHO and UNESCO (Social Sciences Sector). He was also invited to be vice-president of Global University System (GUS), an international electronic network, created during another international conference in Tampere, Finland, in 1999.

Since September 1999, he assists the Rector of the United Nations University in matters linked to the follow-up of the WCHE and in the organization and support to networks. He advises also the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, in charge of the secretariat of the UNESCO/UNU Forum for Higher Education, created for the follow-up of the World Conference on Higher Education.

On special invitations, he attended conferences, made presentations and discussed projects in countries such as Finland, France, Spain, United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

For his activities as director of the Division of Higher Education, the French Government decided to give him the decoration "LÇgion d'honneur" (November 1999). In 1993, the President of Brazil granted to him the decoration of ÆOrdem Nacional do MÇrito Educativo.


Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., is Chairman of the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the USA (GLOSAS/USA) and President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of Global University System (GUS) <>.

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 the Third World; the conduct of innovative e-teaching trials with "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" 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 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.).

He 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; Asahi Chemical Industry, Inc., Tokyo.


Tapio Varis, Ph.D., is currently Professor and Chair of Media Culture and Communication Education at the University of Tampere, Finland (Journalism and Mass Communication and Department of Teacher Education), Consultant on new learning technologies for the Finnish Ministry of Education, Member of 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, Communication and Media Scholar at the University of Helsinki and the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. He is a former Rector of the University for Peace in Costa Rica, and Professor of Media Studies in the University of Lapland, Finland. He has published approximately 200 scientific contributions - the latest being Media of the Knowledge Age, published by Helsinki University Press 1995 (in Finnish). He is listed in Who's Who in the World (1984 & 1995) and Men of Achievement (1986 &1995).

Back to

[ Top of this page | GLOSAS home page | List of Activities ]