Metropolis International is the world's largest network for knowledge transfer concerning migration, integration and diversity. Since 1996 the highlight of the network's efforts is the International Metropolis Conference, usually held once a year.

From 4 to 9 September 2022, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Metropolis International will be organising the 25th International Metropolis Conference in Berlin (IMCB22). Keeping with its title "Changing migration, migration in change" the conference will offer a platform for international experts from academia, policy communities, business, practitioners, and civil society to analyse and discuss a range of migration and integration issues. Key topics will include the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, technological transformation and climate change on migration. Another issue will be the question of how migration processes can be shaped in a fair and sustainable manner. High-level panel discussions on these topics will be part of an interesting programme with international workshops and bilateral or multilateral symposia. In the run-up to the International Metropolis Conference 2022 Berlin, a supporting pre-conference process is planned for the first time, beginning in September 2021.


Conference Theme 2019: The Promise of Migration: Inclusion, Economic Growth and Global Cooperation

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada hosted the 2019th edition of the International Metropolis Conference, offering a program that reflected both Canadian and international strategies regarding immigration, integration, diversity and inclusion. Highlighting international migration as the top of the policy agenda in many countries, the Conference provided delegates from around the world with the opportunity to exchange research and best practices and to forge new partnerships through open dialogue.

Over 1400 delegates from over 60 countries gathered for the events that took place in 2 cities in Canada’s capital bilingual region, enjoying a comprehensive program of workshops, symposia, study tours, and cultural offerings that is commonly expected of the annual International Metropolis Conference.

The plenary program included sessions on the following topics:

Conference Theme 2018: Global Migration and Diversity in Turbulent Times

Settlement Services International (SSI) was the lead organisation to host the Conference in Sydney, from 29 October to 2 November 2018, in partnership with the Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) and Multicultural NSW (MNSW). The successful bid to host the Conference in Australia was enhanced with letters of support from the Australian Prime Minister’s Office and Minister for Social Services.

Over 800 delegates (policymakers, researchers, practitioners, international and national Government officials, politicians, senior public servants, media, philanthropic organisations leaders etc.) enjoyed a week of engagement with the latest research findings, policy insights, and best practices across topics ranging from challenges of migration and mobility to displacement and asylum, religious diversity and global governance of migration. For the first time, the Conference also focused on the impact of migration on First Peoples and profiled the importance of their stories, including those of Indigenous Australians.

The plenary program included the following sessions:

Conference Theme 2017: Migration and Global Justice

The World Forum in The Hague, Netherlands, hosted us from September 18th to September 22nd, where professionals from different sectors (i.e. policy, research, civil society) were discussing the state of migration, integration, and diversity across the world.

The theme of this year’s conference was Migration and Global Justice, and through it we focused on mobility, voluntary and forced alike, on how our societies and governments respond, and on how to bring considerations of global justice to the discussion. The refugee crisis that continues to unfold in the Middle East and Europe was a clear case in point, but so, too, were the population shifts elsewhere in the world from resource-poor to resource-rich countries, and the movements from the hinterland to cities and suburbs. Our conference illustrated how researchers can help us and our governments gain a better understanding of these global changes and how best to cope with, and take advantage of, today’s unprecedented degree of human mobility. Are the tested approaches still effective, or do we need new ways of managing migration, the crises that it can create, and the new opportunities that it offers? Do rising nationalism and the emergence of “post-truth politics” require new thinking about the relations between research, policy, and practice?

Our theme also explored the challenges faced by our institutions of governance, local, national, and supranational governments, as well as by the many private sector and not-for-profit organizations, ranging from civil society institutions to NGOs and multinational companies, which find themselves in a highly dynamic migration landscape, where power and responsibilities are shifting dramatically. In this landscape, principles of global justice may require actors to assume new roles and to develop new ways of working in collaboration. The 2017 International Metropolis Conference allowed participants to discuss and analyze these issues in a forum that encourages open exchanges and debate among the world’s different stakeholders in the migration process.

Conference Theme 2016: Creating Trust through Wisdom on Migration and Integration

It is of great significance that the International Metropolis Conference took place for the first time in Asia. It is hoped that these discussions in Aichi-Nagoya enlighten and enliven the migration policy discussion in Asia and contribute to the global discussion. It is also aimed to strengthen the Metropolis network throughout Asia and to motivate increased collaboration between migration scholars, policy makers and practitioners in the region and their counterparts in North America, Europe, and beyond.

This year’s plenary session themes were:

  • Refugee Protection: Our Most Pressing Migration Dilemma
  • Managing Global Risk: Migration in Situations of Crisis
  • Creating Trust through Wisdom: Co-development and Migration in East Asia
  • Migration, Trade, and Diasporas: Engines for Economic Integration
  • Asia’s Demographic Precipice: Migration, Technology, and Greater Workforce Participation
  • Inclusive Development: a New Perspective on Immigrant Integration
  • When Internal and International Migration Meet: Best Practices for Cities
  • Comprehensive Migration Policy-making for a Re-vitalized Japan: Comparative Perspectives
  • Comprehensive Migration Policy-making for a Re-vitalized Japan: Comparative Perspectives

For more details, please visit https://metropolis2016-nagoya.jimdo.com/

Conference Theme 2015: Migration: Key Players in the 21st Century

Migration is undoubtedly one of the social phenomena with the greatest impact on the twenty-first century world stage. The number of people who for various reasons decide —or are forced— to move not only grows daily, but makes the situation more complex. Some migrants, due to their numbers and impact, have a decisive influence on public policies and decision-making at the global, regional, national, and local levels. Migration of Mexicans to the U.S. has been, and continues to be, one of the most important and significant flows; hence, the importance for Mexico in general, and for the UNAM in particular, of hosting the 2015 International Metropolis Conference. Participants will include world-renowned specialists in the field. Also current immigration policy issues as well as academic studies seeking to understand and contribute to solving the problems arising from this phenomenon will be discussed.

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Conference Theme 2014: Migration, Energy and Wealth

The choice to have the 2014 International Metropolis Conference hosted in Italy, and specifically in the city of Milan, was particularly appropriate: During 2014, more than 170,000 people landed on Italian Southern shores after a dangerous, and in many cases, fatal journey across the Mediterranean. The plenary sessions touched upon some of the hotest topics in migration, one of which being the linkages between food security and migration. The other top-notch plenary session focused on European governance and the future of EU migration policies, contributing to some important ideas in the “Strategic Guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice” which was agreed upon by EU in June 2014. The sheer magnitude of numbers, approximately 740 domestic and international participants in the Milan conference, has indicated its significant impacts on a global scale.

For more details, please visit http://www.ismu.org/en/2014/10/conferenza-internazionale-metropolis-2014-2/

September 9th to 13th 2013, Conference Theme: the Global Economic and Financial Environment.

The 2013 conference contextualized international migration within a framework that simultaneously looked at managing economic and population growth, security, and social justice.

High levels of increasingly complex international migration, the new mobility, have formed the basis of many conferences over the past five years. In Tampere, Metropolis explored the new mobility from the broader context of how contemporary societies should integrate migration in their economic planning as well as their planning for social justice and security.

The global economic and financial environment that was taken into account at this conference included the growing international competition for migrants, especially those with high skills, the development-induced reversal of many migration flows and the high levels of multiple migration that globalization has encouraged, how to manage the unmet demand to migrate from countries with younger populations and high levels of unemployment among young people, and the effects on immigrant integration of the diminishing of the welfare state in many countries as government debt levels force expenditure reductions on social programs and wealth re-distribution.

October 24th to 26th 2012, Conference Theme: Pathways to Metropolis in the 21st Century.

Immigration is an important contributor to the demographic, cultural and skills make-up of contemporary society. The Global Financial Crisis introduced a degree of uncertainty to both the nature of international immigrant flows and settlement outcomes. Moreover, globally there is growing competition for skilled immigrants as new growth nodes seek talent.

The Pathways to Metropolis in the 21st Century conference explored a range of issues concerning global and local immigration including:

  • Immigration‐related diversity outcomes and challenges;
  • Changes in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Competition for skilled immigrant talent;
  • Contemporary developments in skilled and unskilled migration flows;
  • Managing immigration through policy;
  • Forecasting and immigrations flows;
  • Impacts of migration flows on urban/rural societies and economies; and
  • Immigrant Auckland.