Children in secondary schools in some countries are required to select subjects in which they wish to specialize. The grades they obtain in those subjects may be a major factor determining the courses open to them at university. The movement is therefore from early specialization into continued study of the same subject. A change of subject leads to lost time required to gain the necessary grounding. Teaching of particular subjects is largely in the hands of specialists, whose success is often measured by the number of specialists they can produce. A vicious circle therefore exists whereby specialists create more specialists, with little attempt to supply any broad grounding from which the student could develop into other interests. The greater the degree of specialization, the greater the risk that the knowledge gained at university will date rapidly, so that the graduate may well find himself at a disadvantage in his career advancement when competing with graduates who left university at a later date. The specialization itself may then not correspond to the needs of society to the same extent as when the person left university.
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.