Community victim image Undeveloped community power Defeating economic story Perceived social impotence Economic victim image Lack of uplifting community images Paralyzing community story
Local communities feel powerless when confronted by the complexity and enormity of global problems and the difficulty of discerning the results of the community's efforts in the world. They may also fear that community uniqueness will be undermined, ignored or glossed over in a global society. These feelings inhibit individual participation in global projects and reduce the context of community action to immediate needs and concerns, so that day-to-day plans ignore global demands.
Residents of many cities feel powerless to deal with local government institutions. The demoralizing effect of past failures leads to resignation and a deep sense of cynicism about continuing the pursuit of shared community issues. Residual efforts at improvement tend to be met with failure, and the community spirit which would engender hope in the possibility of future victories is lacking. In rural areas, farming has a lower priority than ever, due to its low productivity relative to the amount of physical work and time required, and small animal raising is regarded as an even less appropriate occupation. Women's roles tend to continue to be primarily as the major caretaker for the household and young children. Unable to recognize a broader range of vocational roles as appropriate, rural areas become static, unable to meet social demands.
Until the residents of a community are able to synthesize a community image which captures the significance of its heritage, the meaning of the past will be lost and the community will remain unformed.
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.