Throughout history, humans beings have always established social communities first. They develop rules of social exchange, embed their members in complex reciprocal relationship and build up social trust. Only when these relationships are firm can communities enter into commercial trade and set up markets for exchange. That is because markets, by their very nature, deplete trust. The old adage [caveat emptor] "let the buyer beware" is as true today as it was at the time of the Roman markets more than 2,000 years ago. The point is that markets are secondary rather than primary institutions. They are deriviative in nature and exist only as long as there is enough social trust in place to assure the terms of trade.
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.