Twin City Lab 

The Twin City Lab boosts twinning cities partnerships, enables urban communities, and pushes the level of international exchange beyond current standards. We believe that dynamic and vivid relationships are based on reliable networks and dedicated communities – and on your innovative ideas.


In 2019 we laid the foundation for our Twin City Lab activities. 

We started with a Twin City BarCamp in Minsk for an exchange of best practices, the development of innovative formats as well as screening and mapping the twin city landscape. Right now we are working on our digital tool box, to provide materials, guides and tutorials.

In 2020  the Twin City Lab is supporting and coaching twinning cities by providing incubator workshops, potential analyses and maker workshops in pilot cities.

Stage 3:
Twin City Booster

Workshop-Series Twin City Booster from Feb – Nov 2020 

The Twin City Lab enters the next stage. After developing innovative formats and future-oriented approaches to push twinning cities forward, we invite twinning cities to apply for the “Twin-City-Booster”, our workshop-series.  

The twinning pairs Jena/Erlangen and Wladimir as well as Karlsruhe and Krasnodar have been selected as our pilot cities for 2020.  But since March, many things have changed! With an alternative, Corona-adjusted booster programme we now support twinning cities and their urban communities.

Together with you, we will identify new topics, explore the potentials of your cities and urban communities and support you with implementing new formats and integrating new actors into your twin city work.

Stage 2:
Twin City Toolbox

The Twin City Tool Box 

Inspired and filled with up with a bunch of new ideas, format, shared experiences we currently setting up our digital Twin City Tool Box. It will provide guides, tutorials, event formats and innovative ideas for you twin city activities.

And it will grow, because the Tool Box is going to be open source and interactive.
You can jump in, add, share and discuss at any time. 

Stage 1:
Twin City BarCamp

The Twin City BarCamp 09/2019

The first big Twin City Lab Event was a Twin City-BarCamp.
Hosted in Minsk, Belarus, the BarCamp gathers creative minds and makers
who want to push the work for twinning cities and other partnerships forward.


The Twin City Lab is a project by Brains & Bridges to boost twinning cities partnerships, enable urban communities, and push the level of international exchange beyond current standards.

After establishing a BarCamp for Twin City-activities, we are developing new formats, guides and best practices.

For 2020, the Twin City Lab gives two twinning cities pairs the chance to push their partnerships forward with a series of workshops and events in each partner city.


Brains & Bridges


Brains and Bridges is an international NGO based in Germany and devoted to civil society cooperation. For the Twin City movement, Brains and Bridges teams up with a variety of partners and supporters.


We share the view, that modern twin city partnerships need new incentives and actions beyond conventional practices. 




New Cultural Initiative, Minsk: with NKI as our stronghold in Minsk we have a partner who will support us with consulting, logistics and their network in our daily challenges.
NKI is devoted to supporting the belorusian cultural scene as well as the international exchange on a cultural level.




policult is a Berlin-based agency well known for their alternative event formats like Barcamps and their support in civil society movements, e.g. in the field of science communication and education. policult offers its expertise, manpower as well as financial support in this pilot project.


Deutsch-Russisches Forum


German-Russian Forum is the first German contact to get in touch with when it is about twinning cities – since their foundation 26 years ago they have been engaged in German-Russian TwinCity-partnerships and they know all highs and lows of the business. For this project, they offer us their expertise to pave the way for modern twinning cities. 



The project is funded with generous support from the Federal Foreign Office.


Foreign Federal Office  



We are a bunch of passionate makers
to push forward intercultural exchange and urban development.

This is our core team:


Gregor Büning

Lab-head, networker and civil society enthusiast
“Leave the beaten path!“


Björn Müller-Bohlen

Conceptionist & Facilitator from the bottom of his heart
“Are you staying awake for the liftoff?“


Olga Kuznetsova

Connector and researcher, diving deep.

“Small is beautiful”

Ivan Makarov

Ivan Makarov

Coordinator making magic happen in Russia

“Because why not.“

Sergey Savchuk

Sergey Savchuk

BarCamp Host
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.“
(Chinese Proverb)