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World Problems and Human Potential

he project was originally conceived in 1972 by James Wellesley-Wesley,[60] who provided financial support through the foundation Mankind 2000,[61] and Anthony Judge, by whom the work was orchestrated.[62]

Work on the first edition started with funds from Mankind 2000, matching those of the UIA. The publisher Klaus Saur, of Munich, provided funds, in conjunction with those from the UIA, for work on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions. Seed funding for the third volume of the 4th edition was also provided on behalf of Mankind 2000.[63] In the nineties, seed funding was provided, again on behalf of Mankind 2000, for computer equipment which subsequently allowed the UIA to develop a large website and make progressively available for free the Encyclopedia databases as from the 1994–1995 edition. In turn, this proven knowledge management capacity enabled the UIA, on the initiative of Nadia McLaren, a consultant ecologist who has been a primary editor for the Encyclopedia,[64] to successfully instigate two multi-partner projects funded by the European Union, with matching funds from the UIA. The work done through those two projects, Ecolynx: Information Context for Biodiversity Conservation[65] (mainly) and Interactive Health Ecology Access Links,[66] eventually resulted in what amounted to a fifth, web-based, edition of the Encyclopedia in 2000.[67] In their own ways, two other persons in particular effectively supported the project over the years: Robert Jungk of Mankind 2000, and Christian de Laet[68] of the UIA.[63][69]

The Encyclopedia was the fruit of a continuing processing of documents gathered from many of the thousands of the international organizations profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations. Many such bodies regularly produce a wide range of material on the areas of their concern, many regularly send documents to the UIA, and many, when requested more specifically, supplied documents for the Encyclopedia. The following organizations provided documents in the greatest quantity: FAO, ILO, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNCTD, WHO, Commonwealth Secretariat, Council of Europe, OECD, World Bank group. Furthermore, the United Nations Library in Geneva facilitated access to other material over two decades.[69][70] The Institute of Cultural Affairs International was contractually associated at one point to the edition and other aspects of the Encyclopedia project.[63] The Goals, Processes and Indicators of Development project (led by Johan Galtung) of the United Nations University,[71] in which Anthony Judge participated on behalf of the UIA between 1978 and 1982, was an experience of learning and research that had a significant impact on the editorial content of the Encyclopedia.[63] Another noticeable influence came from futures studies, with which Judge has long been associated. He reports in Encyclopedia Illusions[62] how the narrow focus of the Club of Rome on a few socio-economic aspects of futures research prompted the much vaster exploration concerning world problems and human potential.