<<May 23, 2000>>

Dr. Hillary S. Wiesner <h.wiesner@unesco.org>

Dr. David A. Johnson <daj@utk.edu>

Alexandre Rivas <alex_mau@argo.com.br>

Dear Dr. Wiesner:

(1)  I am writing this at the suggestion of David Johnson who visited you
     recently, just before he had a heart attack -- he is now recovering well in Paris.

          He still has to stay there under the observation of a doctor, and
          hence, he cannot regrettably attend our Manaus workshop, though he
          was the prime initiator of our connection with Manaus people.

(2)  I am very pleased to hear of your strong interest in our projects,
     particularly of our Manaus workshop and a workshop on "Rescue Iridium."

     (a)  The former will be held from May 31st to June 2nd.  Pls visit its
          web site listed in ATTACHMENT I.

     (b)  The latter will be held on June 20th in Arlington, VA.  Pls visit
          for its details "Workshop on Rescue Iridium project - May 18,
          2000" at this index.

          This lists our previous distributions on this matter.

(3)  By the kind invitation of David, we held a "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)"
     multipoint-to-multipoint, multimedia, interactive videoconferencing from
     his UTK in July of 1994.  It connected several universities around the
     US and with an international conference on distance learning in Moscow,
     Russia, with the use of Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and
     ShareVision on desktop computers, ISDN with videoconferencing units, and
     analog satellites.

     We greatly appreciated the video taped greeting by Dr. Colin Power, then
     Assistant Director-General for Education, for this event.

(4)  Dr. Alex Rivas, former student of David, invited me to conduct a GLH
     from Manaus in October, 1998 to enact a similar one as he saw at the
     UTK. This was at the occasion of the conference on "New Technologies
     and Distance Education."  It was an extraordinary historical event in
     the middle of rain forest Jungle, with panelists located from Tokyo,
     Japan to Lviv, Ukraine, spanning almost 18 time zones.

     Tokyo team presented Medical Information Network by Communication
     Satellite for University Hospitals (MINCS-UH) which connects about
     thirty hospitals around Japan with two-way, broadband digital satellite
     channels for medical diagnosis with HDTV -- return for question uses
     C-band analog channel simultaneously.

     Ukrainian team demonstrated the cutting-edge audio/video streaming
     technology via Internet to those Amazonians, in spite of mere 1.5 Mbps
     Internet linkage from Lviv to Warsaw, Poland.  Amazonians also
     broadcasted the video of our event via Internet throughout the world.

     The most significant finding at this event was the clear audio of
     NetMeeting videoconferencing on distance learning from Houston Community
     College via mere 56 Kbps Internet line.  This was thanks to EMBRATEL's
     installing four of 34 Mbps digital satellite channels between the US and
     Brazil -- in the previous year, my test use of Internet telephony from
     Florianopolis, Brazil was complete failure, though there were 15 lines
     of 2 Mbps Internet connections between Brazil to the north America.

(5)  The above hard track experiences prompted us to establish a Global
     University System with advanced global broadband wireless and satellite
     Internet (*) with Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) which is an emulation
     of the Universal Service Fund of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

          (*)  an emulation of the NSF's program of extending broadband
          Internet to overseas countries (e.g., UTK's MirNet to Moscow, Russia, etc.).

(6)  We then held a highly successful International Workshop and Conference
     on "Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning (EGEDL/'99)" from
     August 9th to 13th at the University of Tampere in Finland, with
     financial support from the World Bank, the NSF, USIA, British Council,
     Soros Foundation, Finnish Ministry of Education, etc.

     This event brought together approximately 60 education professionals,
     decision-makers and leaders in distance learning and telemedicine from
     14 nations.  They discussed practical ways to establish a Global
     University System (GUS) with prominent groups in the major regions of
     the globe, e.g., Asia-Pacific, North/Central/South Americas, Europe and
     Africa.  The GUS is to harness the emerging technologies to provide
     learners of all ages with affordable global distance learning across
     national and cultural boundaries.

     We subsequently invited Dr. Rivas to participate in this event who then
     submitted us his draft pilot project proposal for the international
     distance learning and telehealth/telemedicine.

(7)  Thanks to the introduction of UNAMAZ (a consortium of 77 universities in
     8 Amazonian countries) to Dr. Rivas by Dr. Marco Antonio Dias (Former
     Director, Division of Higher Education of UNESCO), Dr. Rivas and UNAMAZ
     officials decided to pursue the proposed pilot project further.  Marco
     is attending the Manaus event, and I am looking forward to meeting with
     him there.  Marco also kindly accepted to be the Vice President for
     Administration of our Global University System.

     They are now committed to succeed this Manaus event as the first example
     to other regional activities.  We also intend to make this occasion for
     securing close partnership between universities in Amazon areas and the
     universities of the Tennessee Virtual University System and in the US to
     ensure students' learnability.  This partnership will not only initiate
     export of US distance learning courses and telemedicine services, but
     will also be the educational exchange among them in the near future --
     i.e., "the 21st century version of the Fulbright exchange program."

(8)  We greatly appreciated to receive the video taped greetings by Dr.
     Federico Mayer, former Director General, for our GLH in October of 1995
     and for our Tampere event.

     Meanwhile, I had pleasant correspondences and meetings with John Rose
     and Jan Visser (who recently retired) of your office.

     Should you ever meet with them, pls convey my best personal regards.

(9)  Pls feel free to contact me if you have any further inquiries.

Best, Tak
                          ATTACHMENT I

                Reference web sites


2.   Tampere conference

3.   Global University System:


           Paper on GUS for the Manaus, Amazon mini-workshop (May 2000)

           Memorandum of Understanding for GUS Partnerships

4.   Global University System Asia-Pacific Framework

5.   Global broadband Internet networks

6.   Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF):


          GSTF as [Arthur C.] Clarke telecommunications project

7.   Manaus workshop (English version)

                      List of Distribution

Dr. Hillary S. Wiesner
US liaison to UNESCO
Office of the Director General
7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07SP

Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP
Board member of GLOSAS/USA
Former President of Fulbright Association
Professor Emeritus, School of Planning
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee
108-I Hoskins Library
Knoxville, TN 37996-4015
Tel: +1-865-974 5227
Fax: +1-865-974 5229

Alexandre Rivas, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences
University of Amazonas - Brazil
C.P. 4208, Manaus 69053-140
+55-92-644 23 22
Fax: +55-92-644 23 84

* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA                  *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education  *
* Founder of CAADE                                                   *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education)      *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of     *
*   Global University System (GUS)                                   *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.               *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu;  Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676             *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/                            *

Return to Global University System Mid-2000 Correspondence