NOW was created by a group of educators, entrepreneurs, activists, and changemakers from different parts of the world. Together, we bring in extensive professional experience in intercultural learning, youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, non-formal education, social impact measurement, organizational development and social justice, among many more.
Working for many years in these fields, we found ourselves often debating what was missing: a program that doesn’t exclude, that doesn’t limit diversity to different national cultures, a program that fully and outspokenly offers learning opportunities that empower and generate change.
We created NOW working remotely from different corners of the world and yet being deeply connected to each other. Our work is guided by the following values:
We promote collaboration among different people, initiatives and groups. We exercise empathy, work beyond our own scope, and support social change across causes.
We dream big and engage in dialogue to spark innovative ideas for social change. We truly believe in what we do, and we walk the talk. We are radical, while being inclusive.
We believe in the power of diversity. We go all the way to overcome barriers and enable everyone to participate, meeting people where they are at. To us, every voice matters.
We actively work to reduce the injustices in the world, starting at a local level and with a holistic approach. We pursue economically, environmentally and socially sustainable choices in everything we do.
We value each person’s complexity and strive to empower each other. We look out for one another and care for everyone’s wellbeing. We use non-violent methods to approach systemic change.
Everyone is a learner and a learning facilitator. We foster opportunities for growth by giving and receiving feedback in a respectful and transparent way. We value mistakes as learning opportunities.
MEET THE TEAM
Annina has a background in comparative religious studies. She has gathered many years of experience in facilitating learning experiences for young people around the topics of identity, religion, sexuality and interculturality. Annina works part-time for an interreligious dialogue initiative and is studying to become a high school teacher in Zurich, Switzerland.
Johanna joined NOW thanks to her love for cooking and food. Currently she is the project manager of this year’s NOW Journey Europe. She has many years of experience in organizing camps and trainings for children and adolescents. Johanna is completing her Master’s Degree in Sociology at the University of Neuchâtel but lives in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a strong interest in sustainable food consumption, gender issues and social entrepreneurship.
Elis currently works as consultant on organizational and volunteer development for AFS Intercultural Programs – one of the largest volunteer-based youth exchange NGOs in the world. She has a background on non-formal education, diversity and social justice, and has several years of experience in experiential training design and facilitation all around the world.
Fenna is an anthropologist working in the development sector. Currently she lives in Belgrade, but her heart is in Buenos Aires, where she is whenever time permits. Because of her drive to learn and take responsibility, NOW represents a perfect balance in supporting others to make change happen, while at the same time the challenges in doing so create opportunities for personal growth. She is passionate about impact evaluation as well as reading, her bike and good food (cooking and eating).
Wouter has been a project manager in the field of sustainable development and ecology for over a decade. He works as a freelance coach counselling (young) people in awareness about what makes them tick. He is a dedicated Aikido student and raises awareness about connecting body, mind and soul in daily life. Other passions: cooking, reading, systems thinking, energetic bodywork, personal & leadership development.
Guto has been designing and facilitating intercultural learning experiences for more than 10 years at AFS Intercultural Programs and is an eager learner himself. He is currently pursing his PhD in public policies for migration at the University of São Paulo, focusing his research on the integration of migrants.
Malte comes from a town close to Hamburg in Germany. He has a background in logistics and finance and as a volunteer has been a trainer for many years. Currently, he’s living and working in Argentina.
Ömer has a long track-record as intercultural trainer both in Turkey (i.e. teaching at Özyeğin and Kültür University in Istanbul) and globally. He has worked with both grassroots and international NGOs and has many years of experience with body expression and dance, which he considers great tools to bridge cultures and connect people beyond language. He’s currently responsible for Intercultural Learning and Organizational Development at Türk Kültür Vakfı.
Having several years of experience in incubation for social entrepreneurship at Impact Hub Zurich, Rahel is now focusing on managing NOW. She has a background in institutional and intercultural communication as well as education for social change. Her long term experience volunteering for euforia, AFS and small NGOs allowed her to build a vast network in Switzerland and globally. Besides all of that, she also brings in extensive experience in coaching and facilitation.
Zlatka is a Slovak national, who has been living in Germany for the past ten years. She has an academic background in international relations and social studies and is passionate about human rights and the migration discourse. Zlatka has working experience as a project manager in an intercultural field and enjoys bridging various interests and working with different civil-society groups.
Sayat is studying history at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. His journey began when he saw the announcement of NOW Journey 2016 on his way to camp. He believes in love and equality and in order to create a world where love prevails he became part of NOW as first participant then a team member. He loves cooking and cycling in his free times.
Myrta is a student at the university of Zurich, where she studies Islamic Science and French Literature. Her journey began with an alternative school education and later an AFS exchange year in Belgium and many years of volunteering. She became then part of NOW, first as a participant, then as a team member. She likes learning new things, discovering new places and spending time in the nature or with friends.
Raluca is a Business Development student and she has a part-time job that gives her the chance of applying the knowledge from school; additionally, she works with NOW in developing amazing Journeys for change makers around the world. She looooves reading, yoga and yummy beer.
Ghizlane Akourim is a Moroccan young activist with a passion for writing and volunteering. After her participation in a workshop and seminar about human rights, cultural rights and freedom of expression, she had a big passion for cultures and diversity. Ghizlane loves storytelling and multiplying skills. Apart from her involvement in some local NGOs, she also works with kids, and shares her skills through mentoring, training and organizing local workshops.
Serhat is studying Computer Engineering at Çukurova University in Adana, Turkey. His journey has began when he attended to NOW Journey Europe 2016 as a participant. He is passionate about computer, volunteering and human rights. He really likes coding, playing volleyball and football. Also, he watches lots of TV series.
After studying public policy and international development, Meg discovered her passion for education when consulting governments on improving links between education and employment in the U.S. She finds it important to encourage skills of empathy, active listening, and critical thinking in education programs and believes the world would be better off if we were all more civically engaged. In addition to facilitating NOW’s online learning program, Meg is a UNICEF researcher.
Born in La Paz, Bolivia and currently living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Andrés does volunteer work with youngsters and is focused on facilitation and research on global citizenship education, the Sustainable Development Goals and intercultural learning. He has a background on Latin American literature, has a degree in international relations and is passionate about peace and justice education. Andrés is currently working with the Latin America NOW Team.
Kriszta studies in an art school in Romania. Her journey began with a local youth association and lots of voluntary work in her home country. Now she is district leader at a national youth association, called ODFIE. In 2016 she have started a program on her own, called ÁtértékelŐ, which concentrates on bullying between youth.
Amanda is a service designer and facilitator of collaborative workshops. Her journey began with a passion for creation, people, and design methods. She went through engineering, photography, service design and innovation processes and now she is in a dip in education. She learned that skills are developed according to dreams, not the other way round. She believes in people and in the collective power to construct reality. She likes to step on the grass and dive in saltwater and freshwater.
WE BELIEVE IN COLLABORATION
Collaboration lies at the core of NOW – and so does diversity. Therefore, NOW is working together with a wide range of different partner organisations. These organisations all have their own values and causes, and do not necessarily actively support each other.
We understand diversity as the inclusion of different identities, values, interests, worldviews, passions and causes. To ensure diversity in our program and our participants, NOW is working together with a wide range of partner organisations – from environmental activists to empowerment initiatives for marginalized youth and LGBT support groups to religious communities. This also, quite naturally, implies that their values as well as their views on certain topics can vary greatly – that’s what makes a great learning environment possible.
However, all partners here displayed share a common understanding of the following core values:
- A clear endorsement of and commitment to human rights as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- Rejection of any form of physical or psychological violence;
- Openness to dialogue;
- Respect towards any differences – as long as they do not lead to infringement of the above principles.
Beyond these principles, the values and opinions of our partners may differ. Furthermore, being a partner organisation of NOW does not necessarily imply actively supporting other partner organisations’ causes or practices, but it certainly implies respecting differences.
NOW shares with its partners our commitment to diversity, social change, and the belief that if we want to go far, we’d better go together.