Limited cooperative events Infrequent unifying activities Infrequent social events Limited social programme Fragmented community interaction
The fragmented structure of many communities precludes various groupings gathering to interact in working together as a single unit to accomplish common aims. The result is a steadily shrinking base of involvement in the care for the community, and the remaining leadership core is overloaded.
The many community-wide concerns in small towns result in residents feeling at cross purposes and unable to take effective action. In a struggle to keep going at all, local organizations reduce their scope to limited traditional activities, and most of these are for members only. The result is conflicting meetings, multi-memberships and competing events, further fracturing of community life. People who work outside of their community come home to television and retire early with no opportunity for local involvement; empty sidewalks and streets either with no businesses or early closing stores and cafes underline the isolated pattern of life of most residents. Unique celebrations such as parades and festivals which could demonstrate community individuality no longer exist. The primary means of communication is word of mouth, forthcoming events receive little publicity, and numbers of neighbours have never met each other. New families see no way to be involved, so personal commitment to family, work and recreation become their primary focus.
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.
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