8-10 May 2022 – Stuttgart, Germany



Alexandra Sußmann

Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs and Integration, City of Stuttgart, Germany

Remigijus Šimašius

Mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania

Iryna Ozymok

Founder of the International Mayors Summit, Kyiv, Ukraine

Leoluca Orlando

Mayor of Palermo, Italy

Jinnih Beels

Vice Mayor of Education and Youth, Antwerp, Belgium

Andriy Sadovy

Mayor of Lviv, Ukraine

Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychala

Deputy Mayor of Gdynia, Poland

Oleksandr Senkevych

Mayor of Mykolaiv, Ukraine 

José Manuel Ribeiro

Mayor of Valongo, Portugal

Matthias Weber

Strategic Designer at Urban Change Academy, Germany

Isabella Conti

Mayor of San Lazzaro di Savena, Italy

Wojciech Bakun

Mayor of Przemyśla, Poland

Yehia Daher

Mayor of Qaraoun, Lebanon

Eleni Zervoudaki

Deputy Mayor of Chania, Greece

Umberto Costantini

Mayor of Spilamberto, Italy

Carla Nunes Semedo

Executive Councillor of Cascais, Portugal

Marc Serra

Councilor for Citizenship Rights & Participation of Barcelona, Spain

George Antoun

Host of the ACT NOW Mayors’ Network, Lebanon

Vaida Aleknavičienė

Deputy Mayor of Joniskis, Lithuania

Dirk Neubauer

Mayor of Augustusburg, Germany

Marie Wutzler

Design Thinking Expert, Innovation in Politics Institute, Germany

Piotr Borawski

Deputy Mayor of Gdansk, Poland

Christoph Meineke

Expert in Digital Leadership for Local Politics and Government, Germany

Katya Petrikevich

Public Participation and Civic Tech Expert, Participation Factory, Czech Republic

Tjark Bartels

Expert in local government innovation, Germany

Urban Strandberg

Managing Director_International Youth Think Tank, Sweden


Mayors for Mayors: We stand with Ukraine

The war in Ukraine calls on us all to show solidarity and support for our European neighbours. We invite Ukrainian mayors to share their situation and needs, and tell us how we can help. Participating mayors will have the opportunity to express their solidarity and offer concrete assistance to their Ukrainian colleagues. Moreover, as Ukrainian refugees continue to arrive in cities across Europe, we reflect on learnings from previous refugee movements.


Local economies, high streets and city centres have all suffered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local leaders need to find new ways to regenerate their regional and local economies. We will show you how to implement such processes and best practices from around Europe to create agile, sustainable and digital solutions.


The Climate crisis is one of the greatest threats to our society. Municipalities are confronted with huge responsibilities to reduce carbon emissions, adapt citizens’ habits and provide protection from changing weather conditions. Together we will find ways to make your communities more resilient and better prepared for the effects of climate change.


The rise of populism and illiberal democracies poses a major threat to democracy around the world. Gain insights into promising new participative approaches to make local democracies more inclusive, responsive and powerful.


The pandemic has brought to the forefront a series of tensions and divisions endangering our peaceful coexistence. Mayors and other local leaders are under immense pressure, and are also subjected to hate speech and other forms of antagonism. Discover ways to counteract polarisation, regulate conflicts and build cohesive communities.


Enjoy over 30 sessions, workshops, and field trips – all excellent opportunities to meet and hear from other local leaders, growing your skill set to create even more impact within your community.

The conference took place under the patronage of the Lord Mayor of Stuttgart, Frank Nopper and in cooperation with the City of Stuttgart.

Frank Nopper, Lord Mayor of City of Stuttgart
Stuttgart offers many best practices on how to strengthen social cohesion and implement sustainability goals locally. Therefore, I am delighted to welcome you at the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference in Stuttgart this year.
Frank Nopper, Lord Mayor of City of Stuttgart
Alexandra Sußmann
Mayor of Social Issues and Social Integration
City of Stuttgart
Stuttgart offers many best practices on how to strengthen social cohesion and implement sustainability goals locally. Therefore, I am delighted to welcome you at the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference in Stuttgart this year.
Alexandra Sußmann, Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs and Integration, City of Stuttgart

About the city

Discover more of Stuttgart and find your way around with the cities accesible online city guide!

Explore Stuttgart

The venue

The 2022 edition of the conference was held at Wagenhalle.
This spectacular venue is purposely designed for hosting conferences to ensure the best possible experience.

Find out more



In cooperation with the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, we are organising a 2-day youth workshop with our partners from the “NOW — Connecting the Dots” project.


Arrival at the Venue & Registration
13:00 – 14:00
Opening Ceremony: Greetings & Ukrainian mayors share their situation and needs
14:00 – 14:45
Panel: Local responses to the war in Ukraine
14:45 – 15:30
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has drawn mayors around the world into an international crisis, calling on them to take decisive action. Many cities are dealing with consequences in their own communities, such as the large-scale reception and accommodation of refugees. What possibilities do they have to make a difference and play an active role in this international conflict? And what can they do to counteract the destructive forces trying to undermine democracy in their communities?
Coffee Break
15:30 – 16:00
Workshop Sessions
16:00 – 17:00
You can choose one of the following sessions:

Supporting vulnerable groups

Best Practice Exchange

The reception of refugees – how to accommodate refugees

Fireside Chat

Local leadership in the digital age

Local Leadership Training

POLIS – Connecting Political Professionals

Co-Creation Session

Engagement Global – Learnings from the Middle East programme

Co-Creation Session

Coffee Break
17:00 – 17:30
Panel: Discovering the potential of local economies
17:30 – 18:30
The pandemic has taken a particularly heavy toll on local economies, fundamentally rewriting the rulebook. It’s clear that there can be no going back – instead, we need to find new ways of creating economic prosperity. Yet many local communities aren’t yet aware of their own potential, let alone the best ways to realise it. The panel will discuss how local leaders can rejuvenate their local economies in the wake of the pandemic, examining promising new solutions.
Aperitivo & Networking
18:30 – 19:30
Arrival at the Venue
9:00 – 9:30
Panel: Local leadership for climate action
9:30 – 10:30
Cities are at the forefront of realising the societal transformation needed to address the climate crisis. Therefore, local leaders have to mobilise their administrations, citizens, businesses and civil society to build broad coalitions to create sustainable and resilient cities. In this panel, mayors will share their insights on how they engage with their communities to take transformative action.
Coffee Break
Workshop Sessions
11:00 – 12:00
You can choose one of the following sessions:

Communities for climate action

Best Practice Exchange

Young mayors – how to lead at a young age

Fireside Chat

A design sprint for the city hall – the Local Lab methodology

Local Leadership Training

Using Data for better decision making

Local Leadership Training

Making rural economies attractive

Best Practice Exchange

12:00 – 13:00
Panel: Can technology save local democracy?
13:00 – 14:00
A healthy democracy is one that is always evolving. In the present moment, digital technologies have enormous potential to revitalise government, allowing citizens to be more directly involved in the democratic process than ever before. We call these new digital solutions democracy technologies. The question is not if, but rather how we should incorporate digital participation within our communities. This panel introduces the key ideas, and shows you how to successfully implement the latest digital participation strategies.
Coffee Break
Workshop Sessions
14:30 – 15:30
You can choose one of the following sessions:

State-of-the-art local participation

Best Practice Exchange

Youth participation in MENA communities – how can mayors and young people collaborate successfully

Fireside Chat

Stay healthy in local leadership – handle public pressure

Local Leadership Training

Urban Creativity Now! Creating the post-Covid city

Local Leadership Training

Youth Taking Lead for Empowerment and Democracy Innovation

Co-Creation Session

Coffee Break
15:30 – 16:00
Closing Ceremony
16:00 – 16:45
Evening Reception at Stuttgart City Hall with Alexandra Sußmann, Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs and Integration, City of Stuttgart / Mayors only
Local Innovation Field Trips
9:00 – 12:30
You can choose one of the following trips:

Rethinking the industrial estate: Agriculture meets manufacturing

Entering the town of Fellbach from Stuttgart, you pass through an industrial estate and an agricultural area standing side by side. As part of the preparations for the International Building Exhibition 2027, hosted in the Stuttgart Region, the area is being converted to make it fit for future needs such as adaptation to climate change, a greater mix of uses and closing material and energy cycles. The project is founded on cooperation and dialogue.

Future forms of mobility e-bike tour

Stuttgart is located in a geographical basin. Combined with its citizens’ heavy reliance on private cars, this means that air quality is a serious problem. Yet the city is taking action. Join us on an e-bike tour of the city’s connective network of alternative forms of transport, including call bikes, car sharing, e-scooters and more.

Holistic social infrastructure

The Cannstatt district in Stuttgart is home to a wide range of social facilities. Get to know the local social ecosystem, including visits to the “house of the family” and the “dasCANN” youth center.

A digital platform to involve Stuttgart’s citizens

The platform https://stuttgartbessermachen.de/ (“make Stuttgart better”) invites citizens to participate in the democratic process and encourages them to engage in dialogue with one another. In this tour, we will get to know the foundations who run the platform, and take a look at two of their latest projects.

Rethinking global development – implement SDGs

Stuttgart is a frontrunner for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. We will learn about the role of the city’s External Relations Department and the city-wide Agenda 2030 Association as examples of co-creation for SDG-implementation. We will pay a visit to the Welthaus (One World Centre), a vivid example of Stuttgart’s spirit of international and social cohesion – a venue for intercultural exchange, global learning and fair trade which includes the global classroom, fair trade café and fair trade shop.

Boosting youth employment

Stuttgart’s Ausbildungscampus (Vocational Training Campus) brings together businesses, engaged citizens, the city administration, and other organisations to support young people (in particular refugees) as they enter the job market.

Making integration work

What can we do to ensure that new arrivals in a city find their feet and feel at home as soon as possible? We pay a visit to the Welcome Center to find out more about Stuttgart’s approach to meeting this challenge.

The future of living – an inclusive and sustainable quartier

The “Am Rotweg” neighbourhood in Stuttgart, constructed in the aftermath of the Second World War, is due a major overhaul. Two housing cooperatives are inviting residents to get involved in helping them to create high-quality, affordable and sustainable residences while also promoting a strong sense of community.

Modern waste treatment

The Stuttgart-Münster thermal power station processes around one third of the waste produced in the whole state of Baden-Württemberg, using cogeneration to transform it into electricity and long-distance heating. Find out more about this leading energy recovery program on a tour of the power station.

Urban climate change adaptation

Climate change is confronting cities around the world with new challenges linked to extreme weather, including heavy rainfall and urban heat islands. In this tour, we take a look at what Stuttgart is doing to counteract these issues, including the creation of green spaces, water retention measures, and depaving urban spaces.

Virtual participation in city planning

The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Stuttgart is home to the Immersive Participation Lab (IPLab), a working and presentation environment which accurately renders 3D graphics in real-time. On the tour, we will get to know the latest applications for virtual reality technology, including city planning tools and new methods of collaborative decision-making.

Welcoming refugees

Stuttgart is a city with a long and liberal tradition of integration. This tour gives you the opportunity to learn more about the integration of refugees in recent years, which is founded on a strong link between civil society and communal policy. We will pay a visit to the Breitscheidstraße Welcome Rooms, as well as a refugee accommodation centre (tbc.)

A space to incubate innovative ideas

The Impact Hub Stuttgart is a platform for creative and entrepreneurial action, and is also home to the Social Impact Lab for social innovation. They develop, test and realise visions for a responsible and sustainable economy. We will get to know how they work and what city halls can do to create spaces for innovation.

Implementing big infrastructure projects

Stuttgart 21 is one of the most controversial infrastructure projects in Germany. On this tour, we will visit the InfoTurm (“Informationtower)” and get to know the learnings from ten years of intense communication surrounding a large construction project. We will also visit the construction site and explore the planning behind the emerging urban district.