Transition into the new era brings with it a loss of freedom due to a failure to recognize the necessity for tensions and ambiguity as integral parts of free choice. A new paradigm is emerging that has, as an essential value, the participation of all people in the creation of their own future and that people have the freedom to participate. There is a tendency to teach that to escape tension and ambiguity is to be free. This understanding glorifies the escape patterns of the affluent society. It reinforces the tendency to render roles meaningless. It encourages people to react to life rather than to respond out of some self-understanding and world view. It discourages self-conscious decision-making and a realistic view of one's situation because a search for means of escape from difficulties becomes of paramount importance, rather than the creation of possibilities. Action is turned from meaningful responses to the future, towards self-seeking avoidance of pain.
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.