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Development → Potential

UN Sustainable Development Goals

GOAL 4: Quality Education


Potential generally refers to a currently unrealized ability. The term is used in a wide variety of fields, from physics to the social sciences to indicate things that are in a state where they are able to change in ways ranging from the simple release of energy by objects to the realization of abilities in people. The philosopher Aristotle incorporated this concept into his theory of potentiality and actuality, a pair of closely connected principles which he used to analyze motion, causality, ethics, and physiology in his Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics and De Anima, which is about the human psyche. That which is potential can theoretically be made actual by taking the right action; for example, a boulder on the edge of a cliff has potential energy that could be actualized by a push forcing it over the edge of the cliff. Several languages have a potential mood, a grammatical construction that indicates that something is potential. These include Finnish, Japanese, and Sanskrit.

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Organizations relating to Potential

Global Association for People and the Environment / Pakse, Laos / Est. 1999
NPI Africa / Nairobi, Kenya / Est. 1984
Big Brothers Big Sisters International / Irving TX, USA / Est. 1998
Integrated Spatial Potential Initiative for Renewables in Europe / Didcot, UK
Global Potential / New York NY, USA
African Child Education Right Initiative / Lagos, Nigeria
Project Literacy / Est. 2015

View all profiles (7 total) in the Yearbook of International Organizations

World Problems relating to Potential

From the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential

Marginal level of family income
Stagnated development of agricultural production
Underdeveloped community leadership
Untapped potential for retail trade in small towns
Shortage of entrepreneurial ability
Social disaffection of the young
Bureaucratic inaction

Action Strategies relating to Potential

From the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential

Developing available community resources
Registering potential toxic chemicals

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