Alexandre Rivas <email@example.com>
(1) ATTACHMENT I is my message to be delivered in the morning of 5/31st at your mini-workshop.
(2) Pls give its copy to your interpreter for his translation into Portuguese.
Thanks in advance.
Message of the Program Chairman to be delivered at theMay 26, 2000
International Workshop on Technology and Distance Education
for Sustainable Development of the Amazonia
Manaus - AM - Brazil, May 31, June 1 and 2, 2000
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
Founder, President Emeritus
Vice President for Technology and Coordination
Global University System (GUS)
GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA)
43-23 Colden Street
Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.
Message of Program Chairman
Distinguished delegates and guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I am extremely delighted to be invited to this historic event
by Professor Alex Rivas of the University of Amazonas, the General Chairman of
The dawn of the twenty-first century comes with a digital revolution
economic globalization with a New Economy.
The digital revolution started with the invention of digital
was fueled by the advent of personal computers in the past two decades.
Internet, which is the convergence of computer and telecommunication
technologies, is now becoming the main telecommunication media of tomorrow,
accelerating the globalization of economies around the world.
The key principle of Internet is to SHARE valuable telecommunication
This "sharing" principle is now being extended to the sharing of information
and knowledge, and even sharing of joy, and hence creating egalitarian global
society. In this sense, Internet will act as the effective tool for achieving
ultimate democracy, i.e., participatory democracy, crumbling down all
kinds of barriers, i.e, national, parochial, cultural, continental and oceanic.
The sharing of information and knowledge also establishes a global
knowledge society where information, skills and competencies become the
driving forces of social and economic development which will be based on
creativity. The New Economy now burgeoning in the US totally depends on this
creativity, which largely stems from youngsters' energetic motivation in an open
and flexible society. This is to have them transform the world from the
industrial age (where obedience predominated) to a knowledge age (where
creativity and competence predominate). The world renowned economist, Joseph
Shumpeter, once coined the word "Creative Destruction." Youngsters have to
have courage to break their shell to emerge into their new life. Oldsters have to
encourage youngsters to break their shells. This is the essence of teaching,
because creativity is a prudent province of Homo sapiens.
It is this confluence of social, economic, and technological
create both opportunities and challenges for global society as a whole. The
challenges associated with this transformation can no longer be solved with
traditional educational paradigms. Old wineskin no longer works for new wine.
In addition to the fact that the sharing of Internet will bring
reduction and productivity increase, asynchronous features of the Internet can
also be of benefit in access to the information and knowledge, by outreach
to learners of all ages anywhere and anytime.
The Internet will rapidly create new opportunities for establishing
international distance learning and global healthcare/telemedicine programs.
In this age, effective learning requires upgraded multimedia educational
materials that can best be distributed using broadband Internet applications.
Although the opportunities for international distance learning are great and
with creativity flowering almost everywhere the Internet reaches, the global
digital divide is also becoming a new dividing line between connectivity haves
and connectivity have-nots. The use of global distance learning and
telemedicine must be efficient and cost-effective, enabling educational
institutions that will allow us to foster global citizenship and achieve
"education and healthcare for all" at anytime and anywhere. Education and
healthcare are two basics of human development.
In October, 1998, Dr. Rivas invited me to conduct a "Global Lecture
(GLH)" multipoint-to-multipoint, multimedia, interactive videoconferencing
from Manaus. This was at the occasion of the conference on "New Technologies
and Distance Education." It was an extraordinary historical event with
panelists located from Tokyo, Japan to Lviv, Ukraine, spanning almost 18 time zones.
The most significant finding at this event was the clear audio
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.
We then held a highly successful International Workshop and Conference
"Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning" in August, 1999 at the
University of Tampere in Finland, with financial support from the World Bank,
the US National Science Foundation, etc...
We formed a Global University System (GUS) with group activities
major regions of the globe, i.e., Asia-Pacific, North, Central and South
Americas, Europe and Africa to establish distance learning pilot projects.
The GUS will harness the emerging technologies of high speed Internet
connectivity among institutions of higher learning in developing countries to
provide learners of all ages with global distance learning across national and
cultural boundaries. The goal of GUS is to foster youngsters around the world
for the Virtual State of the 21st Century with competition for excellence
through affordable and accessible broadband Internet. A central theme is the
integrated flow of knowledge among educational, research, industry and trade
sectors. Inclusion of basic schools in the design would ensure the
acquisition of this new learning culture at an early stage of education.
Dr. Tapio Varis of the University of Tampere, a former rector
of the United
Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica, accepted to be the Acting President
of the GUS. Dr. Marco Antonio Dias, former director of Higher Education of
UNESCO, also kindly accepted to serve as the Vice President for
Administration. I became the Vice President for Technology and Coordination.
Each of those regional groups are now planning to hold mini-workshops
prepare for their large workshop similar to our Tampere event in the near
future. They will formalize their pilot projects during the large workshop
which will foster the establishment of GUS in their respective regions with
the use of advanced global broadband wireless and satellite Internet which is
to be financed by the Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF). The pilot projects
will be disseminated as "best practices" examples for the further development
and deployment of effective international distance learning partnerships.
Thanks to Dr. Dias' introduction of UNAMAZ consortium of 77 universities
8 Amazonian countries to Dr. Rivas, UNAMAZ officials kindly decided to pursue
the proposed pilot project further, and Dr. Rivas organized this mini-workshop.
The success of this Manaus event will be the first example to
regional activities. This occasion will also secure 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 become the educational exchange among them in the near future
-- i.e., "the 21st century version of the Fulbright exchange program."
During this workshop, in addition to presentations of outstanding
activities by many Brazilian colleagues, you will firstly witness exciting
demonstrations of low cost teleconferencing technologies via narrow-band
Internet for distance learning by Professor Roger Boston of Houston Community
College. He has already prepared sophisticated web site for this event where
you can obtain necessary software template free of charge to emulate his
approach. He is a top notch expert in this field. Since he performed a similar
demonstration during our Tampere event, he has been invited to China, Hawaii,
and so on several times. I hope you will get acquainted with him as you
may need to have his performance in your town in the future.
This evening, you will also participate in our telemedicine demonstration
and videoconferencing. Thanks to generous arrangement of AMAZONSAT, these
will be held in one of their conference rooms where there are necessary
telecommunication lines and equipment.
The telemedicine demonstration will transmit the echocardiogram
pseudo-patient at AMAZONSAT to the University of Michigan via 384 Kbps ISDN
line for diagnosis. The 3D image of his heart will also be produced to
examine its inside. The scanning of the echocardiogram can be done by a
nurse, but its diagnosis requires expert doctors with several years'
experience. High demand exists for the telemedicine in global scale. This
demonstration will also show the value of high-speed telecommunication lines to
open the eyes of decision-makers for their installation in remote/rural areas.
During the videoconferencing with Renaissance Center in the middle
land in Tennessee, you will see its new splendid planetarium, chemistry lab,
multimedia video production facilities with advanced web technologies of
walk-through, 3D rotation, panning, zoom-in and -out, etc. The highlight will be
the view of space and universe with hi-fi sound and flashing laser beams in the planetarium.
In the following two days, we would like to brainstorm with you
on (1) the
deployment of domestic and international distance learning and
telehealth/telemedicine in your localities and region with the use of
currently available narrow-band Internet and ISDN, (2) the same via broad-band
Internet when it will be available in the near future, and (3) to plan a joint
fund raising for a large workshop in the near future at which time we can
further brainstorm on the feasibility study for the broadband Internet, action
plan, content development, and configuration of administrative structure, and
business scheme, etc.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.
We have a lot
of things to do! Please enjoy this workshop.
List of Distribution
Alexandre Rivas, Ph.D.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676 *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/ *
Return to Global University System Mid-2000 Correspondence