Academic journal article Human Ecology

Meeting the Challenges of Global Human Needs

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Meeting the Challenges of Global Human Needs

Article excerpt

This issue of Human Ecology focuses on global human needs from a multidisciplinary perspective. Daily, we encounter the driving forces of globalization--the interdependence of our economies and markets, the aging of our populations, the digital and information revolutions, the need to sustain our environment, and the ecology of the interaction of these economic, social, and environmental issues.

More than ever we are challenged to respond to a dynamic environment surrounded by increasing uncertainty. Our workplaces and life courses are changing. We are modifying our environment, perhaps faster than is sustainable. We are impacting our health, families, and communities, both positively and adversely. These challenges to each of us mean that we must be nimble and efficient while enhancing our quality of life and achieving our full human capacity.

Meanwhile, the challenges facing each of us are uneven. Growing disparities challenge some of us more than others. Some people are more included in the global economy, even among the developing countries, than others. Inequities abound among individuals within countries and among countries and regions, resulting in growing extremes in poverty, development, health, gender equity, digital access, and education. We are reminded by the World Bank's World Development Report 2003: Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World that we are particularly challenged as a global community "to ensure productive work and a much better quality of life for the almost 3 billion poor people today earning less than $2 per day. …

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