The high cost and time taken in transportation discourage mobility except for dire emergency and for securing locally unavailable necessities, and the residents of many communities have only very limited relations with the world beyond their particular village. Current work patterns demanded by subsistence living confine the individual to the village, the fields, and the home. The practical benefits of modern society may be vaguely known but are seldom available, and appreciation of outside experience is frustrated by the villager's experience of, or stories about, its complex structures. Lack of a constant flow of information inhibits practical knowledge of technical resources and marketing possibilities which directly affect the local economy; and, with only word of mouth reports of what is happening in the nearby vicinity, the imagination of the people is stifled. They have little understanding of the regional, national or global dynamics which actually affect their lives, and little perception of how they can creatively participate in today's society.
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.