Using systems thinking Applying systems ecology Studying whole systems
Thinking about the world in terms of relationships, connectedness and context.
Some definitions of systems are: 1. A set of objects together with relationships between the objects and between their attributes. Objects are parts or components of the system such as: atoms, stars, switches, masses, bones, neurons, gases, genes, etc, including abstract objects such as: mathematical variables, equations, rules and laws, processes, etc, and social actors such as: individuals, groups, communities, nations, etc; 2. Some form in structure or operation, concept or function, composed of united and integrated parts; 3. Any set of interrelating elements, including: any one of the concrete systems from solar system to molecule and electron, from cell to organism, together with personality, small group, formal organization, political system, economic system, and social system; a system of rules or procedures; a theoretical system bringing together various concepts and generalizations for the purpose of description, explanation or prediction.
Systems ecology is a combination of approaches of systems analysis and the ecology of whole ecosystems when viewed as interdependent and functionally interacting components. The approach is based on an analysis of the network of relationships between organisms and organs, at any level of subdivision, within plant or animal communities. Such relationships need not be expressed as quantitative functions but may be expressed as the presence or absence of flows in a particular direction of material or energy. They may also express alternative pathways of development or direction of change in the organic or inorganic parts of the system.
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.