The values which previously sustained people have to be applied in new ways in the reality of the present-day technological, urban world. Although the people of some communities continue to honour widely recognized values of the past, the application of past values to the actual situations in other communities may be felt inappropriate by many residents. Widespread attachment to the land, for example, seems out of place when agricultural enterprise requires more acreage and fewer people than ever before, and when a large farm that once supported 20 families now needs only five individuals to operate and maintain its advanced agricultural machinery. The traditional expectation that a family should care for its own home and grounds is complicated in rural communities by the fact that much available housing is dilapidated far beyond what even the most skilled home handyman could repair alone. Further, there is no way to deal with community sewage, public areas, or zoning ordinances on an individual family basis. The traditional qualities of warmth and graciousness, which work well when relationships are close and personal, seem to have nearly disappeared in the realities of today's job market, an arena in which they are greatly needed: some people cite discriminatory hiring practices, while others speak of insolence in everyday encounters. All this indicates that traditional values are not being applied, or are being applied inappropriately, to an unprecedented community milieu.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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.