In a pure consensus process, people do not express their preferences, but instead agree to consent to the option that they believe is best for the group. The participants at a meeting work together to solve the problem "what is the best option for this group (including those not here)?". Using this process, people must gather enough information and discuss all the options enough to determine the advantages of each option for the group (and its ramifications for other important entities). Through this process, the group may also need to learn how each person feels about each option and how strongly they feel to see if the option matches the needs and desires of the group. Depending on the decision, though, this may be unnecessary. The final decision may not be anyone's first choice (and it may even be many people's last choice), but everyone recognizes that it is the best choice for the group and consents to it. The main advantages of a good consensus process is that it encourages cooperation and problem solving and discourages factionalism and ego-attachment. It also ensures that no minority is oppressed or railroaded.
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.