The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is the result of an ambitious effort, since 1972, to collect and present information on the problems humanity is confronted with, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. It is a response to the fact that many institutions are trapped in inadequate policy metaphors.
The Encyclopedia places emphasis on the potential of new metaphors for governance as a major unexplored resource to enable paradigm shifts, and offers radically different perspectives to policy-makers, social researchers and those concerned with development strategy. By focusing on both problems and strategies, as well as constructive and destructive values, it endeavours to transcend the usual polarization of issues and responses to them. The Encyclopedia thus encourages the discovery of a new conceptual dynamic for understanding and action, sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and paradigms by which people are separated - both from each other and from a promising future.
The associated work on this project, often with independent data sets, includes:
- World Problems and Global Issues
- Human Development
- Integrative Knowledge
- Metaphors and Patterns
- Transformative Approaches to Social Organization
- Human Values and Wisdom
- Global Strategies and Solutions
- Online edition (1996-present) (World Problems and Global Issues, Global Strategies and Solutions, Human Values, Human Development, and Bibliographic Sources)
- CD-ROM edition (1995) (Encyclopedia Plus CD-ROM)
- Hardcover edition (1976-1995)