CANDID Foundation

National Network

Chausseestraße 11
10115 Berlin

+49 (030) 39835 188 0
E-Mail (2)
Mobile Phone
0049 (0) 171 5578121
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
Fields of Activity
  1. Arts
  2. Democracy and community development
  3. Environment/Sustainable development
  4. Heritage
  5. Human rights
  6. International/Cultural relations
  7. Media
  8. Religion
  9. Youth and education
General Information

The non-profit (gGmbH) CANDID Foundation consists of 12 permanent members based in our offices in Berlin and Paris. In addition, CANDID works in close cooperation with local partners in the MENA region that contribute to our network. In 2016, the CANDID foundation had a financial turnover of approximately €650,000. The Foundation has no permanent institutional funding, therefore concrete statements of the annual budget cannot be made. CANDID obtains its funds from donations, project promotion and third-party funds. Longstanding partners are for instance the BMW Foundation, the Siemens Foundation, the German Office of Foreign Affairs and the Mercator Foundation. In close cooperation with these partners, CANDID established the zenith Photo Award, which just recently celebrated its fourth anniversary. This year’s topic was ‘Islam in Europe’. In addition, CANDID is currently working on several projects in Germany and the MENA region, seeking to find solutions and concepts for common challenges in development.

Mission and Objectives

The CANDID Foundation is an independent non-profit institution based in Berlin, Germany. The Foundation’s activities encompass research and analysis focusing on the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean. CANDID implements projects that foster intercultural understanding and creative approaches in international development. The CANDID Foundation is both a privately chartered think-tank and a flexible, rapid-response group in the field. It draws on a global, interdisciplinary network of regional experts, comprising political analysts, economists, journalists, media, lawyers and development practitioners. A substantial part of this network originated in the pool of contributors and partners of zenith, Germany’s leading media brand on the Middle East, North Africa and the Muslim world. Though we represent different crafts and different schools of thought, we all share the conviction that the worlds around the Mediterranean and beyond are moving closer every day. Yet challenges prevail. Candid is engaged in a permanent effort to counter polarization and extremism. To further strengthen ties to the MENA region and around the Mediterranean , but also to reach out to new partners and exchange ideas of communication and cooperation, the CANDID Foundation seeks to become a member of the ALF Network.

Main Projects / Activities

In the years since its establishment in 2014, the CANDID Foundation has been active in many fields, with projects boosting social entrepreneurship, civil society and social innovators throughout the Mediterranean, especially the MENA region. In 2015, the CANDID Foundation assumed editorial responsibility for zenith Magazine in 2015, and implements projects that foster intercultural understanding. In the same year, CANDID initiated zenithTalk, to moderate a cross-sectoral, national debate about economic governance, social justice and innovation in the greater Middle East. To achieve this goal, zenithTalk works in close cooperation with the BMW Foundation and brings together outstanding creative talents from the Middle East and Europe to join forces in finding solutions and concepts for common challenges in development. It does not matter whether they have a background in entrepreneurship, civil activism or law – as long as they represent a creative new approach to current issues in social and economic development, we think their story is worth sharing. There is also a special focus on finding young leaders or those who soon might be. Furthermore, CANDID organises the annual zenith Photo Award. The first three editions were held in German and aimed to show the perspectives of Muslims in Germany on their communities, as well as the views of non-Muslims on their Muslim neighbours. Major German and international media covered the competition and featured the winning photographers. The fourth edition of the competition widened the scope, encouraging participants to take part in the debate on Islam in Europe through their entries. As a result, more than 50 professional and amateur photographers contributed to the project and handed in their photography series. In addition, the CANDID Foundation is currently working in cooperation with the German Office for Foreign Affairs to find new measures of communication and idea exchange in Tunisia. Therefore, CANDID has created a new debating tool, zenithDebate. This innovative tool gives an opportunity for everyone to access the conversation at eye level; users can contribute their own arguments and vote on others. The debate is a unique project where arguments can be contributed and rated by other users. New contributions appear instantly, and site visitors can track the top responses and see the debate unfold in real time. The initiative is currently being tested in Tunisia, but may well be used in other countries afterwards.

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

The Candid Foundation and its media can help connect all concerned actors in Europe serve as platform to create more visibility for them and their projects not only in Germany but across Europe and the Mediterranean Generaly CANDID aims to reconnect peoples to come to a better intercultural understanding. Therefore, we believer that CANDID can be of great value for the German – but also international – ALF Network.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

Joining the ALF Network would be to the great advantage of both the CANDID Foundation and ALF. By joining the ALF Network, we aim to achieve an even deeper cooperation with initiatives in our main area of interest, the Mediterranean. Becoming a member of the ALF network would also give us a unique opportunity to gain new insights into projects and developments in the region. We in turn as already mentioned could offer the network not only unique media outlet, but also assist with concrete project and help to further connect different initiatives and actors.

Contact (1) Full Name
Jörg Schäffer
Job Title
Head of the organisation
Jörg Schäffer
Contact (2) Full Name
Asiem El Difraoui
Job Title (2)