14 May 2020



The 7th NOW Conference showcased current research findings and best practices. The conference article summarises the key learnings and shows possible means of fostering cohesive societies at the local level.

Sometimes it may feel like we live in a society where polarisation shapes people’s views and where diversity, disparity and globalisation seem to endanger our sense of social cohesion. As a matter of fact, studies show that people’s views are more multifaceted and that polarising views are not the majority. Overall, individual acceptance of diversity is higher than we think and people actively seek a sense of togetherness despite the tensions and different aspects of diversity.

The 7th International Mayors’ Conference NOW in Vienna, Austria (17-18 February, 2020) presented many research findings and best practices that showcased tangible approaches to overcoming local divisions. Workshops supported the conference’s aim of creating an impact by inspiring the participants to initiate local action when back at home.

7th NOW Conference: in a nutshell

The conference article shows possible means of dealing effectively with tensions, of increasing acceptance of diversity and fostering cohesive societies at the local level. It describes the correlation between social cohesion and the acceptance of diversity, and explains why inter-group contact and one-on-one political discussions are crucial aspects in counteracting division. The article additionally confirms the neighbourhood as a vital site for overcoming prejudice and contends that each one of us, including young people, can and should act.

Download the conference article now for more information.