This program draws its inspiration from three major sources.
- NSL Experience in building other peace programs: NSL directors have been instrumental in designing and delivering other programs over the past twenty years that work with young leaders from Australia, Northern Ireland, Ireland, USA and South Africa. Paul Costello was the architect behind the innovative Washington Ireland Program, 1998-2008 and the founder of Rosies, Friends on the Street, an outreach to the homeless that operates in over 6 cities in Australia. In more recent years, he established the South African Intern Program which he ran from its incubation in 2004 to its first class in 2008.
- Narrative Method in Modern Business: Another inspiration for NSL is the body of theory and practice in narrative method that is increasingly influencing business. psychology and leadership development. This approach has been promoted by the institute that Paul Costello and colleagues began in 1995, called the Center for Narrative Studies. (CNS) (see The Center for Narrative Studies) In the 1990s, consultants from the World Bank and NASA came together to explore the use of stories in organizations and used the CNS Living Stories approach to form themselves into the famous Golden Fleece Group in Washington DC. CNS has also designed programs that use the power of stories for transformation with clients such as NASA, Department of Treasury, Lockheed Martin, HUD, and Americorps.
- The Young People: The final inspiration is the energy and idealism of young people who for years have partnered with the founders of NSL to mold and prove the power of the narrative approach. The key to running successful young adult programs is to understand from the start that it is about their story before it is about anyone else’s.
“Change the World? Change the Story!”