Human social systems are open systems interacting with their environments through the exchange of matter, energy, and information deriving both from the system itself and from the environment. The behaviour of such systems is typically purposive and directed toward a goal. Such systems, including subsystems such as individuals and groups within them, interact as communication systems in the form of a dynamic that tends to lead to a steady state situation whose disruption they resist. Within relatively narrow limits they are capable of adjusting and adapting to their environments, as well as changing them. Such systems are characterized by functional unity, namely a condition in which all parts work together with a certain degree of harmony or internal consistency, and without producing persistent conflicts which cannot be resolved or regulated.
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.