Examining cross-cultural differences in lifestyles
The Society for Sustainable Living (SSL), in coordination with the Japan Centre and the American Centre for Culture and Commerce (both based in Prague) sponsored a multicultural seminar entitled "Perspectives of Sustainable Living in Europe, Japan and North America (Prague, December 1994). The seminar's objective was to concentrate on religious, ethical, political, social, technical and economic factors necessary for sustainable living, and sustainable and non-sustainable trends in the three regions. It analysed various cultural interpretations of the concepts "sustainable development", sustainable society" and "sustainable future".
If the world had the productivity of the Swiss, the consumption habits of the Chinese, the egalitarian instincts of the Swedes and the social discipline of the Japanese, the planet could support many times its population without privation for anyone. On the other hand, if the world had the productivity of Chad, the consumption habits of the USA, the egalitarian instincts of India and the social discipline of Argentina, then the planet could not support anywhere near its current numbers.
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.