One of the issues for organizations fostering their city’s twinning activities is: “Who in my city could actually be interested in developing projects with our partners? Who’s cool enough to be “exported”? I know all the good pals, and they are either already involved or not interested”. Unless you’re working in the library or tax office, it can’t be true. Let’s (re-)discover your city together!
1. Ask 3F — Family, Friends, and Founders of organizations, that you’ve ever worked with — for recommendations.
2. Go along the grapevine — ask new contacts for their recommendations, too.
3. Search “Your_city_name” + “theme” in local search engine
Use your network
As simple as it seems, it’s a way that people rarely follow. Together with our nearest and dearest, we form a bubble. In communication, we tend to concentrate on what unites us, leading us into a cognitive bias. It seems logical that everyone from one circle is acknowledged with same worthy organizations and people.
To prove it’s wrong, write down a list of organizations from your city, that, in your opinion, are or could be interested in twinning cooperation. Five titles would be enough. Ask 3F if they know all of them. Chances are high, it won’t be true. Unlike the entrepreneur’s vocabulary, where the last F stands for fool, 3F in our case are:
Friend — better non-job related
Founder (or colleague) from partner institution
Now, use the momentum and ask the same persons for their recommendations on prominent local organizations.
My dear colleagues, Björn Müller-Bohlen and Gregor Büning,used the following method, when scouting the city of Karlsruhe to find participants for the Twin City Booster with Krasnodar.
Whenever you get to talk with a newly found contact, be it successful or not, ask them to give you further recommendations on potential partners. Asking it in an object-oriented manner might be helpful: “Who, in your opinion, would be very interested in this project?” or “Which organization would benefit from joining it”.
Every branch further from your original bubble brings more chances of encountering previously unfamiliar organization, interested in twinning.
Search the WEB
If you’re sure you know all the cool projects in your city, combine each word from the following list translated to local language with your city name in your favorite search engine. I’m sure you’ll be able to find from 3 to 30 new organizations you knew nothing about.
Art & (Pop) Culture
Urban and neighborhood development
Leisure, recreation & sport
Youth & Social Affairs
Start-ups & Innovation
SMEs & Industry
Formal and non-formal education
For extra tips on using search engines, check the blog post on research. Using different search engines might enrich the resulting list.
If you’ve got your own method for re-discovering your city’s organizations scene, I’ll be glad to add it. Send your tips to