OUR CONCERNS AND COMMITMENTS
Why Act.Now exists and is needed
We can see that tensions, unsettling to many, are increasing in society. But we don’t want to see rifts deepening and everyone drifting further apart. This is why at Act.Now we are working to strengthen social cohesion and to promote togetherness and a successful coexistence between the members of our society. In this way we also counteract polarising tendencies.
Our work focuses on towns, cities and regions, because this is the level at which our way of living together is shaped. With our activities we bring people closer together in their diversity and create spaces for appreciative and respectful encounters on an equal footing.
Our Main Focus
Our projects primarily address young people from all ways of life. We invite affected youth to become active participants in order to enable them to live up to their potential and make their dreams come true.
We also highlight how young people can most effectively participate in shaping their societies. After all, they are the ones directly affected by whether future coexistence will be characterised by community spirit or by division.
In addition to young people, our most important partners are politicians, regional and municipal civil servants as well as an international expert network.
This is how we work – and invite everyone to join
We develop specific projects in order to reach our goals:
- We connect relevant actors for lively exchanges and knowledge transfer, for example at the International Mayors’ Conference NOW
- Based on internationally tested promising practices, we show how diversity can be lived constructively incorporated in cities and other communities. Each community being different, we support them in translating proven as well as innovative approaches into locally applicable solutions.
- We initiate and design conferences, workshops, field exposures, fact finding missions and training sessions. We develop innovative, interactive, participative and solution-oriented approaches to maximise their impact. We provide these services independently, in collaboration with partners, or as commissioned by clients.
- To improve knowledge transfer, we publish media tools such as the NOW Map, an online database of the most important actors and projects in the field of “social cohesion”.
Who we are – and where we come from
Act.Now is an independent, not-for-profit association founded by entrepreneurs, artists, and other civil society members. Our projects are financed through private donations, contributions in kind, and collaboration projects with clients.
Act.Now was founded 2015 in the wake of the large-scale forced migration to Europe with the aim to find effective solutions to the challenges faced by municipalities. We therefore first focussed our attention on “people on the run” and their arrival in new environments, resulting in a multi-regional focus reaching from the Mediterranean to Northern Europe.
Since 2015 we have observed an increase in polarising tendencies in our societies. In consequence, and true to our name Act.Now – we have re-directed our focus towards inclusive social cohesion on the municipal level.
INTERNATIONAL MAYORS’ CONFERENCES NOW
Over the past three years, the NOW Conferences held in Vienna, Athens and Kampala have attracted over 400 mayors, civil society initiatives, NGOs, public institutions and experts from both the national and international sphere as well as children and young people from Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.
Act.Now also organised other conferences, workshops, thematic excursions, and public events in Amman, Athens, Beirut, Catania, Chios, Hameln-Pyrmont, Kampala, Pristina, Vienna and Zagreb.
NETWORKS AND WORKING GROUPS
The NOW Mayors’ Network connects more than 25 mayors and municipal experts from Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Slovenia, Serbia, Germany and Austria. The members of the network meet regularly to share experiences; most recently in Vienna, on the Greek island of Chios, and in the district of Hameln-Pyrmont in Lower Saxony, Germany.
More than 50 international academic experts and practitioners work together in five active NOW Working Groups and develop joint projects in the fields of Children’s Rights, Education and Diversity, Exploitation & Human Trafficking, Gender Equality, and Trauma Surviving.
The NOW Map (www.now-map.org) is a database to visualise more than 200 actors, organisations, projects and networks active in the field of social cohesion in Europe and the MENAT region (Middle East, North Africa, Turkey).
The video series “MENSCH” comprises more than 60 portraits of outstanding personalities who work for a better future, each in their own way (https://now-mensch.org).
The psychoeducational booklet series “Trauma Surviving and Hope” addresses emotional injuries, such as anxiety, anger and aggression, grief and concentration problems in picture booklets. The series consists of 10 editions available in seven languages.
In the video series “Pathways to Educational Resilience and Inclusion”, educational experts and students describe examples of promising practices in the education sector and provide background information on their implementation. The series is planned to feature nine issues based on models from nine different countries.