Production systems tend to operate on the basis of processing and distribution functions which yield profit, and to neglect other processes involved in the total life of a product. In addition, satisfaction of immediate or superficial consumer desires, can result in inadequate quality control, use of stop gap measures, incomplete planning, and the neglect of the needs of society. In this tradition of manufacturing, there is no future planning to develop technology covering the whole life-cycle of a product, so that resources may be stockpiled at an intermediate stage of production, or discarded as a waste after only partial use. The result is that full potential benefits are not realized.
Boards of directors of corporations lack vision, are preoccupied with short term profits, pay to little attention to detail, alienate workers and emphasize cost saving at the expense of customer satisfaction resulting in lost of market share and declining national economies.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.