34 years ago, my first zis-project took me to Western Scotland. Of course, I went there by bike. My subject was “Fishery at the West Coast of Scotland”. I did not care particularly about fish, but I wanted to see that wild, beautiful landscape. This journey was an amazing experience that changed me.
Thinking about my next project, which will start in a couple of days, I am very nervous but also full of joy and excitement. My feeling says: “you are not well enough prepared”. But then I think about it and my head says “well, actually I am”.
About 30 years ago, two zis scholarships helped me to broaden my horizon, expand my understanding of what is possible, and develop more self-confidence. zis is a non-profit organization that has been awarding scholarships for study trips to young people between the ages of 16 and 20 for more than 60 years. Today, the word we use for tenacity and grit is resilience - and I've made it my profession, to help managers around the world to develop more of this inner power.
In retrospect, the experiences I've had on these trips to Scotland and Iceland have been priceless for my development. After having had a childhood with some challenges, I learned that I could cycle 1,700km on my own and get wet every day without despairing. I have learned that I was able to get along with only 300 € for 4 weeks and still had a good time. I have learned what it's like to be threatened with deportation and how to get an interview with the President from such a crisis. I have understood that limitations are primarily constructs in our heads, and I want to make these insights available to as many adolescents as possible.
View all posts by Karsten Drath