About us

Overcome boundaries

Overcome Boundaries - For a Peaceful Coexistence

As the world changes, so does the work of IBB. In 1986 – at a crucial stage during the Cold War – we started with peace and reconciliation work in Eastern Europe. As early as 1991 the construction of the International Education and Meeting Site in Minsk began. Borders that seemed impassable at the time – such as the Berlin Wall – have fallen. Unfortunately, others are being built.

Economic and political systems are changing – sometimes unexpectedly and at a rapid pace. Confrontation and conflicts prevent sustainable solutions to problems – locally, between East and West, globally. The undeniable effects of climate change unmistakably show that we only have one world to live in.

It is quintessential that we develop new perspectives for cooperation. Dialogue between cultures and value systems has become more important than ever – in Europe and beyond. To achieve this IBB focuses on exchange and personal encounters.

Today’s major challenges require us to work together as equal partners, both professionally and socially. As a program provider we are working on this with our partners in European and non-European countries.

Cooperation! - What else?

Think globally, act locally: Especially networks crossing borders give us impulses for our future work. Together we analyse how to develop new perspectives for a sustainable future.

The nuclear accident at Chernobyl was a watershed event, as it was not seen as a national, but as a European catastrophe. The necessity of multilateral cooperation was brought into people‘s consciousness.

Again and again, we connect people pursuing similar ideas. Already in 1992 the first partnership conference of German-Belarusian initiatives took place, since then we support cooperative engagement and networking on an international level.

The IBB facilitates and supports the cooperation of socially involved actors across national borders. The insight that processes in civil society enable cultural understanding and convergence in the first place is the basis for this approach.

Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

As long as there are boundaries, between countries, cultures, age groups, as long as there are still boundaries within the heads of people – there is still work for us to do.

International education and exchange are our contribution towards a culture of tolerance and mutual understanding. Intercultural education furthers the dialogue between denominations and religions, between rich and poor.

Those who want to create a sustainable future, have to be ready for change today. The IBB understands itself as part of a European civil society, which strives for changes within their countries as well as transcending borders. In doing this, conflicts will always occur. We stand for dialogue and understanding, for non-violent strategies for societal change.

The former President of Germany Johannes Rau accompanied the work of IBB from the beginning. We understand his words as a legacy for our work in education and encounters:

“Without a knowledge of our past we can not create a human future. Without a willingness to depart and to change we do not take seriously our current existence.”

We continue to act in the European networks that have grown between East and West, between NGOs, religions, the economy and politics, for a strong civil society and a human future.

IBB - brief and concise

The IBB is a charitable, registered association. It is represented by its executive board, who also form the general meeting of the IBB gGmbH.

Chairman:  Rainer Schlief
Representative: Katharina von Bremen
Treasurer: Joachim Sauer

The executive board is elected at the meeting of members of the IBB Association. The members are closely linked to the work of the IBB and participate actively in projects, which are realised by the IBB.

Furthermore, the IBB is counselled and supported by its trustees from the field of politics and society. The members of the board of trustees can be found here.

The IBB Association is:

  • an accredited responsible body for youth and child weleE_logo_webfare,
  • an accredited responsible body for adult education and political education within the Association of the Protestant Lay Training Centre Westphalia and Lippe
  • it was certified in 2007 according to the seal of quality of the Protestant Lay Training Centre Westphalia and Lippe

The IBB Association is a member of:

  • Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienste für den Frieden (“Action Group for Peace”)
  • Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste (“Action Reconciliation – Service for Peace”)
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Bildungsstätten (“Association of German Educational Organizations (AdB)“)

The IBB Association
Management: Elke Wegener

The IBB is institutionally and politically independent as well as non-profit and makes no commercial profit. Its central task is the conception and realization of seminars, specialist trainings and projects for adolescents and adults in Germany and internationally.

IBB gGmbH (comparable to the legal entity Non-profit limited company)
Management: Dr. Astrid Sahm

The IBB gGmbH is the owner of the IBB ”Johannes Rau“ Minsk together with Belorussian partners. It was founded in 1990 for working in East Europe. Central projects are the support programme Belarus, the history workshop Minsk, the history workshop Charkiw (Ukraine) and the European action weeks.

IBB Representation Berlin
Management: Dr. Astrid Sahm

The IBB Representation Berlin is located in the Foundation for Science and Politics. It supports projects of the IBB and takes part in political and societal dialogue processes about Belarus and the Ukraine in Berlin.

IBB “Johannes Rau“ Minsk AG (public limited company)
Directors: Sabrina Bobowski, Viktor Balakirev

The IBB “Johannes Rau“ in Minsk is a German-Belorussian joint venture. As a result 50% are financed through the IBB gGmbH and the other 50% from the Belorussian partners: the city of Minsk, Bank of Belarus and Sputnik Belarus. The fundamental idea of the fair collaboration shows in the German-Belorussian dual leadership.

History Workshop Leonid Lewin Minsk
Management: Viktor Balakirev

The History Workshop Minsk is a project of the IBB Dortmund, the IBB Minsk and the Association for Jewish organisations and communities in Belarus. It is a meeting place for contemporary witnesses, a place for exchange with adolescents and a research centre for ”uncharted areas“ of German-Belorussian history.

History Workshop Chernobyl
Management: Ljubov Negatina

The History Workshop Chernobyl is a meeting place for liquidators and a learning place for adolescents about the the history of Chernobyl. The Project is supported by the IBB Dortmund and the Association of liquidators Ukraine.


Read again

Here you can find all books, brochures and documentations about IBB’s different fields of work and topics for download. You can also order print versions.

Our motto since 1986

Overcome boundaries

In our work, we want to overcome boundaries; international education and exchange are our means to this end. In the years since IBB e.V. was founded in 1986, we achieved a lot on our journey. Follow us on a short trip through the history of IBB.

Our trustees

Our trustees from politics and society advise us and support us in our work. You can find the members of the board of trustees with just one more click.