Studies suggest that normal growth through the various stages of life requires contact, at each stage, with people and institutions from all the other ages. No one stage in the life cycle is self-sufficient. People need support from, and contact with, other people who have reached a different stage in the life cycle, just as they also need support from people who are at the same stage as they are themselves. However, present housing patterns and life styles tend to keep different types of households segregated from each other. There are many areas of two-bedroom houses, other areas of three- and four- bedroom houses and others of studio and one-bedroom apartments. This means that there are corresponding areas of single people, couples and small families, segregated by type. The effects of household segregation are profound.
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.