Latest NOW Conferences

NOW 5 Vienna 2018

"SHAPING THE FUTURE – Social Cohesion in our Cities"

29 – 30 January , 2018

 Visual Recording of the 5th NOW Conference by Harald Karrer

Visual Recording of the 5th NOW Conference by Harald Karrer

From January 29 – 30, 2018 the 5th International Mayors’ Conference NOW “Shaping the Future – Social Cohesion in our Cities”, under the auspices of the Austrian Federal President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, took place in Vienna.

The conference addressed social cohesion on communal levels, with a special emphasis on children and young people, using a human and children’s rights based approach. Social Cohesion has become a burning issue for communities across Europe. The constant increase in social inequality, resulting in a rising polarisation of society, has recently been accentuated by the current subject of integrating refugees and migrants. A constructive approach to handling this challenge is essential if we are to make a change for the better.

Participants from various backgrounds – mayors, NGO-representatives, experts, local and new arrival children and youth – from Europe and the MENAT region discussed and promoted new political visions, public discourses and impactful policies to improve social cohesion from a human rights perspective.

The conference provided a platform for exchange on lived realities, existing challenges, promising and successful approaches on a municipal level with dedicated spaces to co-create, share and network. The 5th NOW Conference organized by Act.Now in cooperation with the Bruno Kreisky Forum for international Dialogue was curated by Dr. Viola Raheb, Ass. Professor, Faculty of Protestant Theology, Department of the Studies of Religions, University of Vienna.

NOW4 Kampala 2017

"African Youth and Migration"

3 - 5  September, 2017


The 4th NOW Conference brought together participants from more than 10 Sub‐Sahara African countries and European experts and politicians.

During the three days of conference the participants drew attention to the situation and perspective of the African youth, migrants and refugees, with the intention to listen and learn. Key findings and recommendations will be published for the 5th EU‐Africa Summit in Côte d'Ivoire.

NOW 3 Vienna 2017

"Children under the Radar"

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.

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


NOW 5 Vienna January 2018

The 5th NOW  Conference under the auspices of the Austrian Federal President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen addressed social cohesion on communal levels, with a special emphasis on children and young people. 

NOW 4 Kampala - African Youth and Migration

NOW 4 Kampala September 2017

The 4th NOW Conference in Kampala gathered about 40 experts from more than 10 mostly Sub‐Sahara and some European countries. Politicians, refugees, youth and NGO representatives discussed the situation of young refugees and migrants within Africa and beyond.

NOW 3 Vienna January 2017

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.

NOW 2 Athens July 2016

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. 

NOW 1 Vienna January 2016

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.