Category: Universities

The expansion of universities is one marked feature of the social life in the present age. All countries have shared in this movement with growth of universities, in the number of institutions, in size, and in internal complexity of organization. With time higher education moved from the periphery to the centre of governmental agendas in different perspectives especially what regards addressing many policy priorities. However, policy-makers tends to analyse universities on how they best fulfil a direct economic function while in reality it is crucial that the true role of universities in society is being understood before mechanisms to promote changes are put in place, i.e. in terms of research, educations and society services. It is important to recognize that the university is a resource for an unknown future and not only “useful knowledge” with an immediate application. While the main role of the university is education, research or scholarship and innovation are essential to the university enterprise especially when they are intimately associated with the educational process. Research-only and teaching-only staff undermines the rationale for university research. Society services conducted by universities have potential importance to stimulate regional social and cultural vitality and this in itself has, also, an economic impacts. It is important to appreciate the health of the university engine that delivers the outcomes from the university activities and not only the outcomes. All these are complex but inter-linked and essential aspects of the university’s functions in a sustainable context of growing and dynamic society and market needs.

EdX – Free Interactive Online Classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities

MIT “Massachusetts Institute of Technology” and Harvard University along with other world’s best universities offer FREE online classes and MOOCs. EdX initiative, which was launched May 2012, is offering highest quality courses, created by schools and partners who share joint commitment to excellence in teaching and learning, both online and in the classroom. Currently, there are 300+ courses in many areas of study, including biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more. These courses and MOOCs are available in English, Chinese, Mandarin, French, Hindi, Spanish, (Latin America). So far, x-Consortium involves 400+ faculty and staff teaching courses and discussing topics online where 100,000+ certificates were earned by edX students from around the world. As of 22 October 2014, more than three million users  joined over 300 courses online. EdX is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider and an online learning platform and differers from other MOOC platforms, such as Coursera and Udacity, in that it is nonprofit and runs on an open-source software platform.

Charter Members of Edx colleges and universities drive the edX vision and mission, including the founding members MIT and Harvard, along with the other leading global institutions of the x-Consortium. Member institutions are a carefully selected group of universities, NGOs, businesses and other high-profile quality course builders.

Check the web-site of Edx to find our the participating universities and institutes, available cources and classes and how to register and join On-line e-learning.

https://www.edx.org/schools-partners

Technology and Innovation for Rural Sustainability

Appropriate and sustainable rural technologies are very rare as most of the global attention, driven by economical interests, is focused on urbanization. Such technologies are very poorly needed because of several reasons. They are, also, imperative for promoting successful long-term and large-scale sustainable urbanization. This is, even, essential in agricultural regions where rural communities are major parts of the national socio-economic structure, which is the case in many developing countries in particular Africa. This is at least necessary in the transition periods prior to large-scale and long-term transformation to urbanized societies where gradual, appropriate and sustainable integration of rural regions is necessary.

Urbanization has caused an accelerating drain of un-favored groups to mega and large cities (http://www.academia.edu/847075/Mexico_City._The_marginal_communities_social_and_ethnic_segregation_of_the_native_population). The random and rapid expansion of urbanized regions has promoted an ever accelerating pile-up of slum-communities in many regions around the world (http://www.schooljotter.com/showpage.php?id=158173) which indeed is not sustainable both from the economic and environmental perspective.

Some parts of the problem are associated with the negative impacts from global education, research and technology driven-policies around the world by being supported by national and international institutes and organizations including the United Nations and World Bank. Management of research, education and development programs fails to involve people from the developing countries to contribute in solving problems and difficulties in their native countries or at least to find partners from the developed countries willing to participate in solving the enormous problems and difficulties in this respect.

Fortunately, the global community started to recognize such problems and to take steps and  efforts, though limited in extent, for achieving successful socio-economic development that is very much related to reducing poverty and the associated impacts of environment and climatic threats. An innovative example “Ecological System Designs for the Indigenous Community of Maruata, Michoacan, Mexico” is given here where researchers from the developing countries are demonstrating how to bring about successful ecological designs for living better, cheaper and ecologically sustainable.

file:///Users/farid/Desktop/Indigenous%20Community%20of%20Maruata,%20Mexico%20(Design%20Example).webarchive

World Largest Power Station – How Huge is Huge in River’s Technology?

The Three Gorges Dam represents the accumulated knowledge and know-how from all previous worldwide advances in dam technology including finding solutions for a wide-range of side effects apart from the main goal of generating power. It is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW), a hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, located in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China. It has several innovations and integrated solutions. Except for a ship lift, the dam project was completed and fully functional as of July 4, 2012, when the last of the main turbines in the underground plant began production. The dam has 32 main turbines, each with a capacity of 700 MW,  and two other smaller generators (50 MW each), with total electric generating capacity of the dam is 22,500 MW. The dam is intended, also, to increase the Yangtze River’s shipping capacity and reduce the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space. A partial solution for problems associated with the transport of nutrients because of silting behind the dam is, also, taken in consideration. Chinese government regards the project as a historic engineering, social and economic success, with the design of state-of-the-art large turbines, and a move toward limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

 

For comparison with the largest twenty dams in the world a global and historical survey is summarized  in this document: http://largest-dams.blogspot.se

Published on 31 May 2013
Largest Dams in The World

 

Role of Human-Computer Interaction – From Awareness and Education to Sustainability

WWW (World Wide Web) is a system of interlinked hypertext documents, intended to provide global and effective communication systems through the Internet. Webpages can be viewed for their content of text, videos, and other multimedia where hyperlinks allow the navigation between different contents. The inventor of WWW, Tim Berners-Lee, realized in 1989 that his proposal for a more effective CERN communication system could be implemented throughout the world through hypertext “to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will”. This was jointly done in 1990 with Robert Cailliau.

Douglas Engelbart already in 1968 demonstrated the invention of “human-computer interaction” where “The Mother of All Demos” retrospectively illustrated the complete computer hardware and software system of all known fundamental elements of modern personal computing. It was the first to publicly demonstrate all features, elements and capabilities of modern computers as communication and information-retrieval machines where the previous idea of Vannevar Bush for a Memex was turned into reality. Memex was visioned by Vannevar Bush, in 1945, that it could implement what is known today by hypertext with the aim to help humanity to have a collective memory and to avoid the use of scientific discoveries for destruction and war, probably an early starting point for sustainability.

Hypertext, including tables, images and other presentational content forms, is displayed on a computer display and other smart devices (mobiles, tablets, …..) with interaction to other text which the reader can immediately, or progressively at multiple levels, access via hyperlinks. An innovation of extreme importance for effectively and globally promoting communication, with high speed never known anywhere expect the speed of light, in all sectors and on all levels with tectonic changes and shifts within and between know and unknown boarders. Apart from economic, scientific and technical importance; populations around the world can easily access and afford sharing information, also for professional to produce and market products and services. Human-computer interactions are now advancing with unprecedented importance for public awareness and education on all levels especially for empowering individuals, groups and association in a wide spectra of new activities for engagement and shaping socio-economic sustainability on micro-levels, at any time and in regions and remote places that were never reached before. What we though was virtual yesterday is in fact very real today.

Since the birth of WWW an accelerating interest in human-computer interactions in all sectors of modern societies has emerged with tectonic changes in the flora of social media, public awareness and educational tools such as blogs and MOOCs “Massive Open Online Courses” focusing on Sustainability on different levels, specialities and content. Blogs and MOOCs are internet based and generally free of charge a matter of increasing importance for achieving socio-economic sustainability. They don’t have any entry requirements and are open to anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection. MOOCs are linked to universities, may lead to certificates/diplomas and some universities give packages of MOOCs leading to degrees but this may be subject to fees.

https://www.mooc-list.com/tags/sustainability; is a general link with MOOC-list on sustainability issues with technical information, short specifications and descriptions of the courses. Some examples are given below:

https://www.coursera.org/course/susdev provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development. It describes the complex interactions between the world economy and the Earth’s physical environment. Ecological processes and constraints significantly shape the patterns of economic development, demography, and wealth and poverty. At the same time, human activities change the physical environments, increasingly in dangerous ways.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20140511172841978 is a free MOOC course on “The age of sustainable development” that gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

https://open.sap.com/course/sbi1; Conducting business in more sustainable ways is becoming increasingly relevant today and a “must-have” in the future. The sustainability megatrend is driven by a growing population, accelerating urbanization, resource intensity, government regulation, climate change, and – most importantly – by the fact that consumers are increasingly demanding healthy, affordable, as well as socially and environmentally responsible products.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/sustainability-society-and-you; it provides the knowledge and skills to do this by investigating sustainability from multiple angles and exploring what small steps you can take to have a real impact upon all our future. It gives an introduction to the values and principles associated with sustainability and some of the knowledge and understanding required to make sustainable decisions in personal and professional life.

http://50plus20.org/archives/2952; is a Collaborative MOOC on Responsibility, Sustainability and Ethics for Business and Leadership. The emerging model of offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) could pose a major threat to traditional model of management education with some estimating that up to 60% of traditional teaching could be disrupted or in part replace by MOOC offerings. Early adopters of online learning platforms will however find a limited choice of material and courses focused on the broad topic of “Sustainability, Ethics and Responsibility in Business and Leadership”.

Http://sustain-earth.com will continue reporting on sustainability and emerging global trends.

 

 

 

 

Artificial Recharge of Groundwater – Increasing Security, Availability and Quality of Water Resources

Water harvesting is among important water management instruments and can take different forms. Artificial recharge of groundwater, as explained in “sembraragua.blogspot” by Professor em Rafael Fernández Rubio, plays a very important role for the availability of water resources for meeting the increasing demands on water resources especially in arid and semi-arid regions. It allows storage of excess surface water, mitigates evaporation losses and enhances the performance and functionality of aquifers in a number of ways, e.g. capacity, availability, security and quality of water resources. It can, also, add other environmental and water conservation benefits, through creation of pressure barriers.

Professor em Rafael Fernández Rubio, gives an interesting and full introduction the subject of Artificial Recharge including: Definitions and Objectives; Conditioning factors (characteristics of recharge water, characteristics of the receiving aquifer, hydro-climatological features, environmental characteristics of the environment, alternatives recharge facilities); Resetting Devices (surface devices, deep devices); Water Treatment by Recharge; Clogging System. Professor em Rafael Fernández Rubio ends by Bibliography of Interest for further reading. An additional feature of “sembraragua.blogspot” is that it provides supplementary translation from Spanish to other languages with varying qualities for languages other than European ones.

http://sembraragua.blogspot.com.es/2011/06/introduccion-la-recarga-artificial-de.html

Sustain-Earth.Com – Connecting People For Healthy and Wealthy Future

Professionals in all sectors and on all levels around the world are corner stones in shaping the future on our planet; they are, also, leaders that can direct its path. However, for our fellow citizens to be safe, secure and share their responsibility the conservation and sustainable management of our collective natural resources on the earth requires innovation, engagement, transparency and full participation in “serve and get served”. With these objectives we can turn past difficulties, existing obstacles and future threats to solutions, admittance and prosperity.

http://sustain-earth.com/about/

Invitation – A NEW Logo For Sustain-Earth.

http://sustain-earth.com is a platform and a BLOG for integrating and marketing sustainability in education and research, and popularization of sustainability in science and technology. It supports “Open Access”. It has built-in functions and instruments for coupling education, research and technology with society, market and population needs on national and international levels. It, also, acts for promoting “Business-to-Business” and creating “Career-Development-Plans” for professionals and graduates in the emerging applications of sustainability and socio-economic developments. http://sustain-earth.com is an instruments and vehicle for developing and implementing applied sustainability in all sectors and on all levels.

LOGO of "sustain-earth.com" has three colours. Main colour of "earth" is green a product of  "blue" for  clean water and "yellow" for clean energy.

LOGO of “sustain-earth.com” has three colors. Main color of “earth” is a dynamic green-product of “blue” for clean water and “yellow” for clean energy. A green main arrow representing the functioning and metabolism of “sustain-earth” through fueling life by constant clean water “blue” supported by clean energy “yellow”.

To learn more and get introduction on “http://sustain-earth.com” please visit “ABOUT”. We welcome any questions and inquiries through “CONTACT”. You are, also, most welcome with innovative posts at “CONTRIBUTE”.

“Sustain-earth” at Ångström’s Laboratory, Uppsala University

The news letter “Det händer på Ångström” at Ångström’s Laboratory, Uppsala University, has announced an open-call for contributions to “sustain-earth”. Translation from Swedish to English is given below.

Farid El-Daoushy, professor em vid fysik och astronomi, Ångströmlaboratoriet, hälsar alla välkomna att besöka, dela och bidra i “sustain-earth”, en blogg för marknadsföring av utbildning och forskning, popularisering av vetenskap och teknik, stödjande av ”Open Access” med fokus på hållbar utveckling.

Inbyggda funktioner finns för koppling av utbildning och forskning till samhället och marknaden på nationell och internationell nivå samt skapande av karriärutvecklingsplaner. http://sustain-earth.com verkar för ökad hållbarhet inom alla sektorer och på olika nivåer där Sverige är ledande.

In English.

Farid El-Daoushy, professor em at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ångström’s Laboratory (Uppsala University) welcomes all to visit, share and contribute in “sustain-earth”, a bolg for marketing education and research, popularization of knowledge and technology, and for supporting “Open Access” with focus on sustainable development.

Embedded functions are available for coupling education and research to the society and the market on national and international levels as well as for creation of Career-Development-Plans. http://sustain-earth.com strives towards enhanced sustainability in all sectors and on all levels where Sweden is a leading nation.

Det händer på Ångström, April 2014

AREA-EGYPT CONFERENCE – TOWARDS 100% RENEWABLES AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES FOR AFRICA

An International Conference arranged by AREA-EGYPT on “TOWARDS 100% RENEWABLES AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES FOR AFRICA” will take place during April 27-30 at The American University in Cairo, New Cairo.

Call for participation, papers and sponsorship. Deadline for abstracts March 30, 2014.

In addition to the given program (see attachments), planned field visits will involve: (1) Second Day April 28th: half day Ministry Company, and Systems installed + Pyramids Visits; (2) Third Day April 29th: two hours internal visit tour to AUC Energy Labs; (3) Fourth Day April 30th: full day tour to wind farm and Red Sea Resorts.

ADD+_AREA_EGYPT_INTERNATIONAL_CONFRENCE[1][1]

ADD AREA EGYPT INTERNATIONAL_CONFRENCE[1]-2

Other relevant information “100% Renewable Energy in European Regions”:

Parliamentary Hearing_Folkecenter_Agenda_final

Draft Agenda-1