NOW Local Action Forum

Open Call

The quality of living together within communities is a key success factor for municipalities. Increasing social cohesion brings many advantages: the level of satisfaction rises, social life becomes more vital and the local economy can benefit. Small changes sometimes make a big difference. Numerous studies and tried and tested initiatives have proven how communities manage to use all their potential: for example, by strengthening the dialogue with the population, establishing innovative participation processes involving diverse stakeholders and creating vibrant and cohesive neighbourhoods through well thought-out local action.

With the NOW Local Action Forum, Act.Now offers an innovative opportunity to engage in intensive exchange with diverse stakeholders and to develop solutions to strengthen social cohesion. Together with experts on the individual challenges of the community, targeted measures shall be identified and the foundation will be laid for implementing and improving the social cement in the community.

NOW Local Action Forums are interactive two-day events designed to unlock local potential for change. They are organised by Act.Now in cooperation with a municipality and local stakeholders.

Each of these events focuses on a specific local challenge identified by the local community and develops strategies to address it.

Act.Now creates the right setting for municipality representatives, civil society / NGOs and young people to work together in interactive formats and in an atmosphere of mutual appreciation and respect. We also bring in international experts with practical experience in the respective challenge.

Apply for a NOW Local Action Forum and let us enable local change in your community together with the right people, the right setting and the relevant expertise!

Local Action Forum

Application Details

Who can apply?

We believe that it is essential for local change towards more social cohesion that it be participatory from the beginning. Therefore, an application for a NOW Local Action Forum has to be made by an applicant group including at least:


Municipalities are essential in making local change happen and can create the right frameworks for others to become active.

Civil Society /
NGO representative*

Civil Society and NGO representatives are often closest to local challenges and can mobilise diverse target groups.

Young Person
(between 15 & 25)*

Young People bring in fresh perspectives and have a right to be involved as active members of society.

*All from the same municipality.

What is the topic?

The topic of a NOW Local Action Forum depends on the challenges that exist locally. It is proposed by the applicants and should fit Act.Now’s topic of the year: “Overcoming Division – Space for Encounter” and its subtopics:

Joint Local Engagement for the Common Good
Connecting Activities & Community Events
Community Spaces Where Diverse People Meet
Formats Overcoming Conflicts & Division
Inclusive Youth Participation

Who are the participants?

Participants are 20-30 local stakeholders involved in the challenge addressed. Municipality representatives, civil society / NGO representatives and young people (between 15 and 25) should each make up around 1/3 of the participants. We place a high value on diversity and inclusion. Therefore, the participants should also represent a mix of genders and backgrounds.


The format of the NOW Local Action Forum is designed to be adaptable to different local contexts and to different stages of addressing a challenge. We have developed different modules, which will be combined and adapted in accordance with the needs and requirements of each community.


EDIT: New dates, including a postponed deadline for the application.

13 March, 2020

Start of Application

4 May, 2020

Application Deadline

15 May, 2020

Notification of Act.Now decision

29 May, 2020

Agreement of cooperation between Act.Now and applicant group

June /
Beginning July

NOW Local Action Forum

Who does what?

Act.Now provides:

  • The design of an interactive, engaging and solution-oriented event (in consultation with the local applicant group)
  • Inputs by external practitioners (persons with practical experience in addressing the respective challenge)
  • Facilitation

The local applicants provide:

  • Event location / infrastructure
  • Mobilisation of and communication with local participants (in consultation with Act.Now)