The IBB “Johannes Rau” in Minsk

A building of dialogue

IBB ''Johannes Rau'' in Minsk

IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk has, in the twenty years since its founding, developed into a wonderful and, in its own way, unique place in Belarus: Today IBB Minsk is a place of reconciliation, where the horrible wounds of recent history are allowed to heal. It has become a place of encounter, where people like to go to and like to return, a house where strangers can become friends.

Matthias Tümpel
Chairman of the board, IBB Dortmund

It is a house, where the most diverse people come together with their thoughts, their feelings and their opinions, and can speak out and listen to each other in a respectful way. And it has become a place where one can enrich oneself with knowledge and experience. The idea of a common house has, in these twenty years, developed into a house of common projects.

This task of IBB “Johannes Rau” Minsk – to be a place of human understanding, of societal dialogue and of exchange in Europe – is as current today as it was twenty years ago.

A European embassy in Belarus

Over the course of the years, many guests and partners, domestic and abroad, have come to appreciate IBB as a place of learning, encounter, and exchange on a number of topics. One of the key assets in this is the infrastructure provided, like professionally furnished seminar and conference rooms, hotel rooms of a European standard, and the restaurant ‘Westfalia’ featuring an international cuisine, all of which allow for the successful organisation of diverse types of events.

And also as a business, IBB “Johannes Rau” Minsk has more and more established itself. A number of organisations and institutions, like the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Austrian trade office, the legal and consular department of the German embassy in Belarus, and the German-Belarussian Business Club have rented office space and organise different conferences and seminars on the premises of IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk. Taken together, there is virtually no other location in Minsk, where international cooperation converges like at IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk.

Programmes and focal points of our work

Media academy

In 2001, the educational services of IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk were substantially expanded by the opening of the media academy: Here, periodic methodological trainings take place, familiarising Belarussian journalists with European standards, methods and developments of the modern media landscape.

Interview techniques, internet research, newspaper marketing, multimedia reports etc. are part of the programme.

Inter-faith dialogue

Belarus is a country of many religious denominations. The fundamental principles of the educational and reconciliatory work of IBB include furthering dialogue and understanding between people of different faiths and thereby anticipating and preventing the drawing of boundaries and potential conflicts.

Since 1997, IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk has become a visible and symbolic place of this fruitful ecumenical dialogue.

Human and Nature

Since its beginning it has been the task of IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ to develop and convey visionary concepts and models to society, and  to create solutions for the pressing problems of our times.

In its ecological education work, IBB wants to make a contribution to the most important challenge of humanity in the 21st century: To protect the whole of creation.

In the light of the devastating nuclear catastrophe of Chernobyl, which hit Belarus like no other country, IBB Minsk is working rigorously on realising the idea of sustainable development, of the application of renewable energy and of energy efficiency, of supporting ecological education and the idea of sustainability, and the Local Agenda 21.

The team of IBB „Johannes Rau“ in Minsk

Directors and employees

IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ is administrated by a Belarusian-German team of directors. Since 2000 Dr. Viktor Balakirew is the Belarusian director, Patrick Döpfner is the German director since October 2015.

Former Belarusian directors:

1998–1999 Vjatscheslav Reut
1995–1997 Prof. Pjotr Nikitenko
1994–1995 Prof. Anatolij Michajlov
1991–1994 Oleg Bogun

Former German directors:

2012-2015 Olga Rensch
2006–2011 Dr. Astrid Sahm
1995–2005 Dr. Klaus Baier
1994–1995 Peter Junge-Wentrup

Associates and trustees

When Sputnik Minsk and IBB Dortmund signed the founding contract on the 31st of March 1991, the first charitable Belarussian-German joint venture in the country was born. The statute, valid to this day, is always committed to the principle of equitable partnership: All decisions are jointly made by the three Belarussian associates (City of Minsk, Sputnik, and Belarus Bank) and IBB gGmbH Dortmund. In 2006, IBB Minsk was, on the initiative of Christina Rau, the widow of former President of the Federal Republic of Germany, renamed to become IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk.

Our trustees can be found here.

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Prominent supporters and partners

For many years now, IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk is collaborating with many trusting supporters and partners, like the Federal Foreign Office, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Minsk, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Commission and the Evangelical Churches in Westphalia and Hesse-Nassau.

Our current Educational Programme 2016

you'll find here (German and Russian)

IBB-Hotel, Restaurant Westfalia and conference center

The first educational centre with environmental management

Ecological action starts in the mind: This motto was already applied to architectural planning during the building of IBB ‘Johannes Rau’ Minsk, which already twenty years ago implemented the most current ecological standards.

In the meantime, IBB Minsk developed into an ecological model building in many aspects: For a long time now, IBB features a solar installation for hot water production and, since 2008, it is the first educational organisation in Belarus practicing environmental management, certified by the Belarussian Environmental Department, and was further awarded the labels „Green Rooster“ and „White Stork“ by environmental protection associations from Germany and Belarus.

This way, the energy consumption of the building was lowered substantially, waste separation and other measures help to conserve natural resources. The new environmental management system was not just presented to the interested public and environmental protection organisations, but IBB also initiated new projects to raise awareness and to further spread the idea. For example in 2014, at the suggestion of IBB, a series of seminars took place in all the catholic dioceses in Belarus, where both congregations and priests could learn about the principles of environmentally conscious action, environmental management systems and innovative technology for saving energy and conserving resources.

Three-Star-Hotel with a special atmosphere

Over the course of the years, many guests and partners, domestic and abroad, have come to appreciate IBB as a place of meeting and encounter, of education, further qualification and learning. A key in this is the infrastructure provided, like professionally furnished seminar and conference rooms, hotel rooms of a European standard, and the restaurant ‘Westfalia’ featuring an international cuisine.

But generally guests are most fascinated by the unique architecture of the building, inspired by Malevich and Constructivism, among them the triangular restaurant with its high ceilings, the warmth and security of the round conference room, and the long-stretched glass gallery of the hotel corridor, along which the guests stroll to their rooms.

At IBB Minsk, the spirit of creativity and cultural tradition is connected to the modern challenges of environmental and climate protection: It features an environmentally sound energy savings concept and uses renewable energies. IBB also acts as a pioneer in another aspect: The building is fully accessible for disabled persons.

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The history of the house under construction

The architect Richard Pierschke from Münster, who took part in the open architectural competition for designing the building in 1990, was inspired by the avantgarde art of the 1920s. The painting ‘House under construction’ by Kazimir Malevich, with its clear composition, form and colours was the starting point for his work. Pierschkes architectural concept, connecting tradition and modernity, aesthetics and functionality, convinced the German-Belarusian jury from the outset.

On the 22nd of June 1991, exactly 50 years after the German attack on the Soviet Union, the foundation stone was laid, in September 1994 IBB could open its doors.

The title of the inaugural congress was programmatic for the further development of the new German-Belarussian building: ‘On the path to a European civil society’.

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News from the IBB „Johannes Rau“

Calendar of the IBB ,,Johannes Rau''

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