The components of ecosystems - climates, watersheds, soils, organisms, biochemical processes - are known to be "connected," "linked", and "interdependent". These are all ways of describing the principle of integration in natural systems. Ecosystems are commonly described as a web in which the activities of one organism, or the outcome of one process, influence hundreds of other activities and processes. Through integration, each component of the system can serve and be served by other components, thereby increasing the efficiency and viability of the overall system.
Humans and human society are most often pictured as machines and most imagery about how human society works is largely mechanistic. Thinking in biological terms opens up creative possibilities.
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.