2006 annual report
Altai Mir University supports the unique indigenous culture of peace
of the Altai Republic of Russia by assisting a multi-regional coalition
of educational institutions, governments, businesses, and NGOs to
implement cultural and technological tools for sustainability in
inclusive, capacity-enhancing ways.
o Practical educational and technological tool sets are in use by key
sectors (inclusive of gender and indigenous culture) to support
sustainable and peace-enhancing development in rural southern
central Siberian region, focused on the Altai Republic.
o Whole-system planning is integrated across sectors and regions,
optimizing strengths and remediating weaknesses.
o Urgent needs for healthcare and civil society-building are
addressed through targeted multi-stakeholder planning, and
implementation of seminars and distance-learning programs
concurrently with projects necessary to build a functioning
o The valuable culture and ecology of the Altai region are
internationally nurtured according to local indigenous leadership,
so that the legacy is available to meet global needs, especially the
health and spiritual resources for which the region is renowned.
o Internationally collaborative research for “best practices”
accelerates development innovations.
from the president
We stand at a threshold.
Russian cities are getting back on their feet, and big international donors
are looking elsewhere. However, rural Russia is still as remote as any
developing country. Rural Russia’s sparse population is getting sparser,
because Opportunity seems to stop at the city limits, and the divide
continues to grow.
As Russia is finding its way back to business as usual, the world seems
to be discovering that “business as usual” (read: rampant consumerism)
might not be such a good thing for the planet. Maybe we need the
diversity of culture that still exists, however tenuously, off the beaten
path. The indigenous people of Altai Republic in southern Siberia—
from farmers to statesmen—believe that hope for the whole planet will
arise out of their homeland.
The vision of Altai Mir University is to step into that hope for the
future—finding and building on the ancient wisdom that is reemerging,
by using modern, collaborative, communication and
educational tools. To accomplish this in the face of receding external
funding will require inclusive and innovative strategic planning, and
pragmatic “whole-systems” implementation.
Our first steps across the threshold have been toward extensive research
and planning, bringing together existing institutions and leadership,
and finding collaborative partnerships to bring the idea of “universe”
back into “university.”
THANK YOU to the hundreds of people and organizations who have
contributed to our fledgling organization with your encouragement
and gifts. We look forward to a very fulfilling journey together!
President, Altai Mir University
Although we officially incorporated in September, 2006, we’ve been fulfilling our objectives
for more than a year. Altai Mir University initiatives are structured to support local
development efforts. For most of these events, detailed written reports are available either
on-line at www.AltaiMir.org/events.html or by e-mail. Our 501(c)3 status is pending.
The first Altai Mir University initiative was an international “Peace-Mapping Summit” on
July 16-17th in the Altai village of Tyungur, with sponsorship from Vuisotnik Tourist Base,
using Open Space Technology format. About 35 participants from four countries gathered
to map local initiatives for global peace.
The seminal initiative, begun in 2005, was a Clean-Up and environmental education program
for the Mt. Belukha region, which is increasingly inundated with trekkers’ garbage.
Collaborators included: Sergey Shafarenko and Lena Lebedeva of the World Wildlife Fund
- Russia; Valery Yakubovsky of the Republic of Altai Mountain Rescue Service; Igor Sailankin,
director of the Belukha National Park administration; Gorno-Altaisk Rotary Club; and Galina
Lebedeva of Vuisotnik Tourist Base.
WWF-Ru made a year-long effort to bring together all the stakeholders to make a
comprehensive plan, with moderate success. However, the result (aside from the actual,
successful clean-up efforts), was the realization of the need for organized, collaborative,
on-going planning communication, not only regarding Mt. Belukha, but to support any
development effort in the region. Out of this need, Altai Mir University emerged.
On July 25th, an international group of about 30 people gathered by remote Lake Akkem at
the base of Mt. Belukha to pick up trekkers’ garbage, as the culmination of a year-long
collaborative planning effort. We filled 27 garbage bags. Earlier in the summer, an educational
campaign was initiated in the Altai Republic, and after that, the garbage was taken out by
mountain rescue helicopter.
GUS/altai mir fact-finding mission
In August/September, Eurasia Foundation fundedan international “Fact-Finding Mission”
in collaboration with Takeshi Utsumi of Global University Systems and Linda Hawkin
Israel of MAMAs, with fantastic support by Marina Tyasto of Siberian Academy for Public
Administration and Lyudmila Komkova of the Russian NGO “Connect.” We met with
top-level educators, municipal administrators, regional cabinet ministers, hospital directors,
communication specialists, cultural and environmental NGOs, and citizen activists.
Out of that mission, we have the beginnings of the necessary multi-regional, cross-sector
coalition for “whole-system” development. We also have a long list of fundable projects
(see www.AltaiMir.org/fundableprojects.htm) that address the most fundamental needs
of rural Altai Republic, and renewed hope among participants for tangible progress in
community development (see www.AltaiMir.org/collaborators.htm).
research and grant-writing
Being based in the US, one of the major contributions Altai Mir University can make to
development efforts in Altai Republic is to do English-language internet research and
relationship-building with potential American and international collaborators and
funders—writing grant proposals in collaboration with Russian organizations. We expect
at least a few of these to come to fruition in 2007.
To further collaboration between stakeholders, we have compiled and distributed
numerous reports written by and for those stake-holders. (See www.AltaiMir.org/
We are focusing on strategic planning and educational curricula as well as the
communication infrastructure that is necessary for a distance-learning university.
strategic planning conferences
In collaboration with Siberian Academy for Public Administration with organized two
Open Space Technology strategic planning conferences, facilitated by Marina Tyasto—
for whole-system planning of communication infrastructure in rural Altai, bringing
together participants from government, education/universities, public health, NGOs,
environmental and cultural groups, and business. .
On November 23-24, in Gorno-Altaisk, “Sustainable Communication System in Altai
Republic” was sponsored by Government of Republic of Altai, Gorno-Altaisk State
University, Novosibirsk State Medical University, and the Russian NGO “Connect.” About
80 people participated, submitting 27 reports in six general categories:
o Creation of unified informational/educational space on the basis of modern
informational telecommunications technologies (physical infrastructure) – Andrey
o Uniting an effective system of communication between government,
municipalities, citizens, and business – Adar Soumin
o Development of the potential of personnel in Altai Republic – Tatiana Zharova
o Using telecommunication for development of whole system of life-saving/life
providing services in Altai republic – ( for militia, fire, disaster) M.C. Surilov
o Telemedicine and a single clinical system of medical documentation – Alexander
o Single electronic mass media communication network – Yukhtina
On December 12-13, in Novosibirsk, “Leadership Role of Universities in the Development
of Altai Republic” was convened main themes resulting from the September 2006 GUS/
Altai Mir Fact-Finding Mission, specifically regarding the role of universities in the
sustainable development of Altai—in collaboration with Novosibirsk State Medical
University, Gorno-Altaisk State University, and the Russian NGO “Connect.” About 25
people participated, submitting 11 reports and 6 action plans. (See www.AltaiMir.org/
In 2007, we expect to continue in the same directions begun in 2006, facilitating strategic
planning and communication infrastructure to open interactive access between rural Altai
Republic, and Russia and the world. With a physical presence in Altai, we will continue to
collaborate with local organizations on grant proposals and strategic initiatives, focusing
on the idea that education is a powerful and cost-effective development tool.
On the basis of hundreds of meetings with diverse people from Altai, as well as two Open
Space strategic planning conferences, the action items fall into the following categories:
1. Internet connection in rural regions, including facilitation of infrastructure
development, as well as a program to supply computers directly to Altai’s citizens,
schools, NGOs, and municipalities.
2. Related to internet connection, but on the content side, the need for coordinating
centers and/or intranet “virtual communication spaces” to enable interactive work
throughout the Republic has come up repeatedly.
3. Strategic planning, leadership training, and educational programs supporting the
crucial issue of indigenous land rights.
4. Russian and international funding efforts in any category related to mission.
5. Facilitation of distance learning, especially for public health and participatory
6. Other initiatives:
o Support for and participation in theGlobal Leadership Forum at Siberian
Academy for Public Administration on May 2-5, 2007.
o International caravan (Arkaim, Altai, Baikal) as initiated by GONG3000, and
in collaboration with Altai Books.
o Painting exhibition in Altai Republic.
Board of Directors
Carol Hiltner, President
Jacqueline Stratton, Vice President
Juliette Engel, MD
International collaborative team
Marina Tyasto, International Relations, SAPA
Lyudmila Komkova, NCP Siberian Educational-Consulting Center
Takeshi Utsumi, Global University System
Linda Hawkin Israel, MAMAS
Victor Chernoskutov, International and Interregional Relations, SAPA
Alexander Karpov, Medical Informatics, Novosibirsk State Medical
Tatiana Zharova, Gorno-Altaisk office, SAPA
Ezher Tatin, Committee on the Development of Entrepreneurship,
Industry, Transportation & Communication for Altai Republic
Andrey Osokin, Informatics, Gorno-Altaisk State University
Nina Goncharova, President of Siberian Center of Eurasian Projects,
Coordinator of the “Planet 3000” Project
Comprehensive reports of our initiatives are
available on our website, in English and/or Russian.
Financial report available on request.
16212 Bothell Everett Hwy., Suite #F172
Mill Creek, WA 98012-1219 USA
May 11, 2007