Latest NOW Conference
January 30th - 31st 2017
At the end of January 2017 the 3rd International Mayors' Conference NOW took place in Vienna. For the first time the meeting of local decision-makers, outstanding experts, EU-parlamentarians and refugees focused on displaced children.
Under the banner "Children under the Radar" international participants - from Libanon, Jordan, Greece, Turkey, Germany and many further countries - discussed the topic for two days to identify central challenges and promising solutions.
Opening Message and Greeting for the NOW Conference in Athens 2016
“When the NOW Conference was taking place in Vienna in January, I had the pleasure to welcome you as host in the OEBB Austrian Railway factory halls in Spittelau, Vienna. I was very impressed by the spirit of empathy and cooperation, which connected the many mayors, local and regional politicians from Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Greece, Austria, Germany and other countries, during these two days.
Mayors are practitioners who often act pragmatically, where others only talk. Mayors make our societies progress, where others only stoke fear.
I hope, no, rather: I am sure, that the NOW Conference in Athens will be distinguished by a similar spirit to that of the Vienna encounter, one of magnanimity, rationality and pragmatic humanity.”
– Christian Kern, Chancellor of the Austrian Republic
The spirit of NOW ConferenceS
In summer 2015, Act.Now, in cooperation with the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, began preparing their first International Mayors' Conference NOW. It was the starting point of a broad movement of people, from the realms of science, arts, journalism, politics and NGOs.
The NOW initiative was developed during private conversations about the increasing cluelessness and despair, in face of the massive refugee movement from civil war-torn Syria during the summer of 2015 and the erratic political actions that followed suit.
The NOW Conferences are a next step towards finding answers to the many topics that need to be tackled, and toward proposals on how to keep the dialogue for finding new solutions together ongoing.
NOW Conferences find ideas that enable sound decision-making on institutional and civil society levels, ideas about obtaining clarity on similarities and differences, about taking on responsibility and about the question of what each one of us can contribute to achieve peaceful coexistence.
Recent International Mayors' Conferences
The 3rd NOW Conference was dedicated to refugee children. The key issues were challenges in education, protection against violence and exploitation and dealing with traumatisation.
The participants of the second NOW Conference in Athens - further including EU representatives and experts - reviewed the consequences of the EU-Turkey Agreement and discussed alternatives and demands on future pacts on refugees in the light of current conditions.
At the NOW Conference in Vienna for the first time mayors from communities along the refugee routes, NGO-representatives, experts and refugees themselves came together to discuss recent challenges and solutions.