IT Platform set up for twin cities  

At the end September the BarCamp forum organised by Twin City Lab was held in Minsk. BarCamp follows a different format to typical conferences with their strict timetables and lists of speakers.

At BarCamp each speaker proposes a presentation subject and the other participants vote on the idea. The conference brought together professionals from cities in four countries – Russia, Germany, Ukraine and Belarus, including Duisburg and Perm.  During the two working days discussed issues of cooperation between twin cities were tackled from general principles of collaboration between cities to specific projects and ideas. It emerged that the key to effective twinning projects and to involving the largest number of citizens is that all work should be transparent, the authorities should be involved and a system to motivate people to take part in active twinning should be set up.

BarCamp organisers reported high levels of enthusiasm among participants. An on-line platform is now being developed where the twin cities and participants in joint projects will be able to access the necessary digital toolbox to implement the projects and find new partners.

The Twin City Lab is a project from the Brains & Bridges public organisation, aimed at developing partner relations between twin cities, expanding opportunities for urban communities and increasing international exchanges and links. “The increasing role of cities is evident. Today, the globalised world presents society with a variety of challenges, which can only be addressed by mutual cooperation. The idea of twinning can be an ideal catalyst for cultural exchange and mutual cooperation. Therefore, the project is looking for new people to enrich the traditional approaches using social and technical innovations” said Brains & Bridges.