Global University System


Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming Project



December 24, 2003



Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
Founder and
Vice President for Technology & Coordination of

Global University System (GUS)

Chairman of
GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA)

43-23 Colden Street

Flushing, NY 11355-3998 U.S.A.

Tel: +1-718-939-0928




The Global University System (GUS) is a worldwide initiative to create telecommunications infrastructure for access to educational resources across national and cultural boundaries for global peace.  GUS aims to create a worldwide consortium of universities to provide the underdeveloped world with access to 21st Century education via Internet technologies.


The GUS works in the major regions of the globe with partnerships of higher education and healthcare institutions.  Learners in these regions will be able to take their courses from member institutions around the world to receive a GUS degree.  These learners and their professors from partner institutions will also form a global forum for exchange of ideas and information and for conducting collaborative research and development with emerging global GRID computer network technology.  The aim is to achieve "education and healthcare for all," anywhere, anytime and at any pace.


1      Background


Economic interdependence among nations and cultures is spawning a global economy.  Globalisation also highlights clashes of divergent cultures and belief systems, both political and religious.  If global peace is ever to be achieved, global-scale education, with the use of the modern digital telecommunications, will be needed to create mutual understanding among nations, cultures, ethnic groups, and religions.  The Internet is the future of telecommunications and can be a medium for building peace.


GUS has a long history of concept development and testing of multiple hardware configurations suitable for remote Internet access.  These initial steps are summarized in our recent book, Global Peace Through the Global University System, University of Tampere, Finland, 2003 (ISBN 951-44-5695-5).  The purpose of this book is to make internationally known the philosophy, past and present actions, as well as future plans of the GUS, which have resulted from years of development and a seminal working conference at the University of Tampere in 1999.


The editors’ paper in the book, "Creating Global University System," emphasizes the important role of higher educational institutions not only as the knowledge centers of their community but also as the gateway to the world for collaboration of creating new knowledge in global knowledge society of the 21st Century.  This paper summarizes GUS accomplishments and shows that GUS is poised to begin implementation of broadband Internet access and academic programs in remote areas of the world.


2      Global University System


GUS is a worldwide initiative to create satellite/wireless telecommunications infrastructure and educational programs for access to educational resources across national and cultural boundaries for global peace.  GUS 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 close the digital divide and act as the knowledge center of their community for the eradication of poverty and isolation.  The GUS education will promote world prosperity, justice, and peace, based on moral principles rather than political or ideological doctrines.  Education and job skills are the keys in determining a nationís wealth and influence.


The GUS has task forces working in the major regions of the globe with partnerships of higher education and healthcare institutions.  Learners in these regions will be able to take their courses, via advanced broadband Internet, from member institutions around the world to receive a GUS degree.  These learners and their professors from participating institutions will form a global forum for exchange of ideas and information and for conducting collaborative research and development.


3      Proposed Infrastructure


Modern e-learning and telemedicine require high-speed access to the World Wide Web.  Multi-media requirements might include two-way audio, full-motion videoconferencing up to MPEG4 quality, television-quality netcasting, and high-resolution image transfer for telemedicine.  The objective of increasing quality of audio/video delivery, high interactivity, and broadband throughput can be seen as a global objective of closing the digital divide to improve e-learning and e-healthcare services in order to eradicate poverty and isolation in rural/remote areas of developing countries.


As diagrammed in Figure 1, GUS programs and services will be delivered via regional satellite hubs, typically located at a major university, that connect via high-speed satellite (~ 45 Mbps) to educational resource cites in the E.U., U.S., and Japan.  In a sense, the regional satellite hub is to be the major Internet Service Provider (ISP) for not-for-profit organizations in the region and the gateway to the outside world.


Regional hubs link to branch campuses or other regional educational institutions via micro-wave (~ 45 Mbps) over relatively short distances (25-50 miles).  Communication from the hub and branch campuses to local sites, over distances up to 10 miles, is to be achieved by spread-spectrum wireless (~ 2-10 Mbps) Internet networks, which do not require licenses in most countries.


Figure 1

The buildings with a broadband Internet connection will then also become relay points for the low-cost "Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity)" networks at 10 Mbps that are now rapidly appearing in Japan, USA and Europe.  This advanced wireless communication with laptop computer will make e-learning possible 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.


GUS is not limiting its efforts to university-level education.  Some major U.S. universities are heavily involved in K-12 education as a means to assure quality in their student pipeline.  The K-12 education in many underdeveloped nations is poor to non-existent, and they produce few students who are qualified to master a university education.  The seeds of poverty and terrorism are sown in children through ignorance and propaganda.  What could be a more important global problem to address?  Leadership must come from the universities -- including, hopefully, GUS.


4      Current GUS Projects

The GUS Amazon Project will connect six federal universities in the Amazon region by broadband satellite Internet, and Community Development Networks.  These will then connect the universities with secondary and elementary schools, libraries, hospitals, local government offices and NGOs, etc., by broadband wireless Internet at drastically discounted rates or free of charge.  Similar projects are now starting in Cuba and the Caribbean region, Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda in Africa, and have received inquiries for the same from Bangladesh and others.


5      Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming (GCEPG)

Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming (GCEPG) (Utsumi, 2003) with a globally distributed computer simulation system, focusing on the issue of environment and sustainable development in developing countries, is to train would-be decision-makers in crisis management, conflict resolution, and negotiation techniques basing on "facts and figures."  The Global University System will supply game players from around the world.  With global GRID computer networking technology and Beowulf mini-super computers of cluster computing technology, we plan to develop a socio-economic-environmental simulation system and a climate simulation system in parallel fashion, both of which are to be interconnected in global scale.


Figure 2: Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming Networks


Globally Distributed Climate Simulation System

Globally Distributed Socio-Economic-Environmental Simulation System


The GCEPG 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.  Gaming/simulation is the best tool we have for understanding the world's interwoven problems and the solutions we propose for them.  System analysis for systemic change at the global level is a precondition for any significant resolution to today's global-scale problems.  The understanding gained with scientific and rational analysis and critical thinking basing on "facts and figures" would be the basis of conflict resolution for world peace, and hence ought to provide the basic principle of global education for peace.


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, during the execution of simulation.  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 broadband Internet 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 for playing peace games on the scale of Pentagon war games (McLeod, 1987).


6      GRID Technology


Many now consider GRID technology as the next generation Internet.  It has demonstrated all of the effectiveness in the scientific domains as becoming a de-facto e-Science technology infrastructure.  This technology promises to do what the Internet has done with data on the applications.  Grid computing extends the scope of distributed computing to encompass large-scale resource sharing, including massive data-storages, high-performance networking and powerful computers, highly expansive equipments (i.e., microscopes, telescopes, 3D Cave), etc.  GRID technology defines a new powerful computing paradigm by analogy to the electric Power Grid.  Users of the GRID will then be able (a) to use his/her private workplace to invoke any application from a remote system, (b) to use the best suited system for executing their desired particular application, (c) to access data securely and consistently from remote sites, (d) to exploit multiple systems to complete complex tasks in an economical manner, or (e) to use multiple systems to solve large problems that exceed the capacity of a single one. In this vision, the sharing doesnít mean simply exchange of data or files but rather a concrete access to resources (e.g., computers, software, data, etc.).


E-mail and multimedia World Wide Web of Internet so far contributed significantly to the world society on the dissemination of information.  The next phase of the Internet development with global neural (or GRID) computer networks should be the globally collaborative experiential (the so-called "hands-on") learning and constructive creation of wisdom with interactive actions on virtual reality simulation models of joint global research and development projects on various subjects.


7      Joint Project with ELeGI


European Learning GRID Infrastructure Project (ELeGI), which is now funded by the European Commission, aims to design and implement advanced service-oriented Grid-based software architecture for learning.  This project will develop a new paradigm focused on knowledge construction using experiential based and collaborative learning approaches in a contextualized, personalized and ubiquitous way.  This will replace the current information transfer paradigm, which is based on content, and on the key authoritative figure of the teacher who provides information.


GCEPG project could be a complete and powerful demonstrator of ELeGI Project to show (1) the advantages coming from using advanced technologies (i.e., GRID for accessing to computing resources and collaboration environments) for supporting simulations execution, data analysis, etc., and (2) simulations for learning through the definition of innovative pedagogical models (i.e., socio-constructivist contextualized learning approach), and (3) to show all the benefits coming from the harmonized and synergistic use of advanced technologies together with innovative pedagogical models for learning (i.e., ELeGI).


8      Expected Benefits


With rapid advancement of computer simulation with GRID computing network technology, such a network of mini-supercomputers around the world can also be used by researchers, even in developing countries to perform with their counterparts in developed countries for joint collaborative researches with virtual reality and virtual laboratory of various academic and engineering subjects.  They can also be used in micro-biology, meteorology, chemical molecular study, DNA analysis, medicine/bioscience, 3D animation of human anatomy, agriculture, commerce, finance, nanotechnology, joint advanced engineering design, astronomy, etc. (Sterling, 2001).


In a sense, our GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair project aims to construct global scale knowledge forum with advanced Information and Communication Technology (ICT), i.e., with the use of massive parallel processors of globally distributed and yet interconnected mini-supercomputers through global neural computer network.  This will be a paradigm shift of research and development in global scale, out of the so-called "Ivory Tower" approach.

It is expected that GUS will provide the following benefits to students and participating universities:


9      Organization

GUS is headquartered at the Global E-learning Center at the University of Tampere in Finland, under the direction of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair, held by Dr. Tapio Varis.  Currently, institutions with faculty members who are participating in GUS development projects include the University of Tampere, UK Open University, 6 federal universities of Amazonia, Havana Institute of Technology, University of Malawi, Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, McGill University in Canada, University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Cornell University, Texas A&M University, Maui Community College, University of Milan, University of Salerno, University of Twente, Catalunyan Open University, and many others.  GUS will serve as an educational broker for universities, thus helping them gain international influence and access to students that they would otherwise not reach.  Those institutions affiliated with GUS become members of the GUS/UNESCO/UNITWIN Networking Chair Program.

10  Financing GUS


During the Okinawa Summit in July 2000, the Japanese government pledged 15 billion US$ to close the digital divide in developing countries and for the eradication of poverty and isolation.  During the G8 Summit in Canada in June of 2002, and at the Environment Summit in South Africa in September of 2002 they also pledged 2 billion US$ to aid education and healthcare in developing countries, respectively.


GUS projects will combine (1) the Japanese government's Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds and (2) Japanese electronic equipment with (a) the Internet technology and (b) content development of North America and Europe.


11  Conclusions


The GUS program is a comprehensive and holistic approach to building smart communities in developing countries for e-learning and e-healthcare/telemedicine.  Initiatives are underway to create the necessary infrastructure and educational liaisons, and some near-term educational access is expected.


GUS is clearly an ambitious program, one that cannot be achieved by any one group, university, or national government.  The program requires substantial collaborative contribution of ideas, expertise, technology resources, and funds from multiple sources.  Those who value the vision of GUS are invited to join this great and noble enterprise.


12  References (All URL below were retrieved on October 25, 2003.)


Allison, C., et al,  (2003),  Human Learning as a Global Challenge: European Learning GRID Infrastructure,  Global Peace Through The Global University System.  Tampere, Finland: University of Tampere Press.

McLeod, J.,  (1987).  TAK is TICKING, Simulation, December, pp. 273-4

Schram S, Marks H, Behrens W, Levin G, and McLeod J, et al.  (1971).  Macro-system simulation, Panel Discussion Session at the 1971 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC), 1972 SCSC Proceedings, pp. 1491-1502, Society for Computer Simulation

Sterling, T., (2001).  How to Build a Hyper Computer, Scientific American, July, Pages 38-45

Utsumi, T.  (1977).  Peace game.  Simulation.  November.  pp. 135

Utsumi, T., Varis, T., and Klemm, W. R., Editors (2003).  Creating Global University System, Global Peace Through The Global University System.  Tampere, Finland: University of Tampere Press.

Utsumi, T. (2003), Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming, Global Peace Through The Global University System.  Tampere, Finland: University of Tampere Press.

Varis, T., Utsumi, T., and Klemm, W. R. (Editors) (2003).  Global Peace Through The Global University System, Tampere, Finland: University of Tampere Press, November.



Dr Takeshi Utsumi is the Founder and Vice President for Technology & Coordination of GUS (Global University System) and the Chairman of the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.  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 and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) 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.