Better Leadership for a better world.

Leadership Choices sponsors zis, because we believe that good leadership requires one thing in particular: the right inner attitude. This has various aspects. You need the inner conviction to be able to positively influence your own destiny. You need to be approachable and open-minded towards other people. And you need absolute determination to enable your dreams to become a reality. This attitude is not something you can learn from books, but you can experience it with a zis scholarship. For more information just klick on the zip logo:

zis – An organization that enables young people to have the greatest adventure of their lives

The zis foundation, based in Salem, Germany, is a non-profit organization that has been awarding grants for educational trips to young people between the ages of 16 and 20 for more than 60 years. Neither academic achievements nor social background are relevant for a grant to be awarded. It is only the young people’s motivation that decides who is ultimately allowed to work on their chosen topic on their own during a zis trip abroad. The zis grant is worth 600 euros and has a number of conditions: for example, the grant holders must travel alone and are not allowed to take their own money with them on this adventure. This means that young people get involved with other people on the road and to deal with setbacks and disappointments. This gives them a realistic impression of everyday life abroad and a good insight into another society. Travelling on a tight budget allows them to get to know themselves and their limits and how to overcome the latter. They return, with strengthened self-confidence and a stronger belief in the good in the world.

The zis scholarship is more than just money: thorough preparation and documentation before and afterward ensure that the trip is safe, the participant committed and the project a success long-term. Each participant has a personal mentor to help them organize the trip. Most of these volunteers have been on a zis trip themselves and know the countries and topic areas they are responsible for. After the trip, they discuss all the projects so that each participant receives qualified feedback.

Based on his own experience 

About 30 years ago, two scholarships from zis helped Karsten Drath, one of our Managing Partners, as a young man to broaden his horizons, his understanding of what is possible and to develop more self-confidence. “Looking back, the experiences I had on my travels to Scotland and Iceland were invaluable for my personal development. After having had a challenging childhood, I discovered that I could ride 1,700km by bike all alone and get wet every day without feeling despair. I learned that I could manage on €300 for 4 weeks and still have a good time. I learned what it’s like to be threatened by deportation and how to turn this around to get an interview with the country’s president. I have understood that limitations are only constructs in our minds and I want to make these insights available to as many young people as possible,” says Karsten today.

Fundraising for zis – in 10 years around the world by bike

Today, Leadership Choices supports zis financially, non-materially and also through action. Karsten has made it his goal to ride round the world by bike zis-style in seven years, all on his own and without support, in order to raise money to finance zis travel grants.

Learn more about the single legs:

2017 Leg #0: Heidelberg – Verona & Heidelberg – Paris

2018 Leg #1: Heidelberg – Montpellier – Genua – Milan – Heidelberg

2019 Leg #2: Lisbon - Montpellier