A fundamental aspect of the human predicament is the dependency of life and social organization on accidents and chance. There is little, if anything, certain. One thing hangs on another in an invisible progression; and like a spider-web, if one skein is pulled, the whole network is distorted or even destroyed. Physical human life is unpredictable, open to disease, decay, death and pain. Emotional life knows no equanimity; happiness and suffering exchange places without plan. Societal life is filled with conflict, and economic life is always precarious. Peace is shattered by war, and in this century human existence is threatened in its entirety. The increasingly perceived contingency of life is a destructive influence amidst any hope or optimism that human problems can be solved.
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.