Exposure to experiences of pain and grief. Vulnerability is not limited to or solely characteristic of oppressed groups, whether women, children or old people. People are only made vulnerable by the existence or perception of threat. The vulnerability of a form of life is roughly proportional to the weight of influences from afar, from outside the locality in which that form has achieved an ecological equilibrium.
A great deal of therapeutic work depends on the provision of enough safety to allow a person to be vulnerable, to feel anguish without having it denied, and to work through the pain towards healing. Choosing to be vulnerable is very different from enforced vulnerability. Appropriate self-protection is just as important as appropriate openness.
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.