Inadequate social technologies Uninitiated social methods
The techniques used to create, support and enliven humane societies have become useless. Citizens are blocked from being informed about their communities and nations. Minorities have less influence than their numbers would suggest. Structures for developing effective leadership have failed. The public's consciousness is suppressed. Communities, regions and nations are not comprehensively and effectively related to each other. Individuals lack ways of seeing their own destiny connected to society's.
In many third world communities, individuals are sufficiently concerned to participate in planning their village's future, yet they lack specific social methods to go about the task. In every aspect of village life there lies a deep desire to participate but a lack of practical know-how to release that willingness to action. This contradiction particularly emerges in relation to the training available in villages: the educational process is limited to the primary school, where emphasis is solely upon a basic academic foundation; general education beyond this standard is limited to a very few; moreover, the inflated level of incidental school costs restricts the number of students even in the primary school; technical job training is not immediately possible for most aspirants seeking admission. Yet the contradiction goes far beyond the arena of formal schooling. In business, health, agriculture, family care, public services and social welfare, men and women, young and old, all suffer from under-development of their skills. Failure to fulfil of this need perpetuates a random and individualistic approach to community development and fosters the image that nothing can happen.
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.