Seattle, WA Bratislava, SK
Ivana Sendecka Jon DeWaal Josh Epperson Ron Carucci
Greetings NGLS Participants,
We want to thank you for a wonderful two days together in Poprad as part of AIESEC’s Highway 2009
Conference. We hope you are still feeling very proud of your excellent work, and that you remain
excited about the future of Slovakia that you dreamed of while we were together. Thank you for the
kind notes many of you sent sharing with us what NGLS means to you. We will read them often and
remember our time together with joy.
During our time together, the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the
opening of free boarders to the West. It was the moment that put in motion your journey toward
becoming a free nation. Many of you shared your desire to leave behind parts of your nation’s past that
prevent you from growing into all you can be. Let’s make sure the next 20 years deliver on the promises
that opening the borders intended for you to have.
Preparing for the future will take courage, determination, hard work, and lots of hope. As you
discovered while we were together, you will have the choice as a generation of young leaders to shape
your future however you choose.
Now there is lots of work to be done to make the wonderful stories you wrote come alive. We want to
take this opportunity to remind you of a few things as the days pass since our conference. As you return
to your busy lives, it will be important to make choices to stay committed to the dreams you created
together. Here are some ways you can do that.
Stay Connected to each other. One consistent message you shared during our time together was how
hearing one anothers’ voices made you feel less alone. You enjoyed hearing that your peers feel the
same as you, and that sharing ideas with each other made you feel hopeful about what is possible.
When you feel discouraged or have doubts about your future, connect with friends so they can remind
you that you aren’t alone and that your dreams are possible.
Talk about your dreams. Great stories come alive when they are told. When you are together with
your friends and peers, when you are in classes or just at social gatherings, tell your stories from the
future. Create new stories. The more you tell them, the more possible they will seem. Do not under
value the power of simply sharing your dream with another!
Get involved. As we talked about, there are many ways Slovakia needs you to be involved now. Form a
team and volunteer to do some work that will help advance your dream. Mentor young students or
help out in classrooms where you can bring creative ideas. Support cultural efforts such as art and
music that help broaden the views of others and create a greater welcoming of differences. Spend time
with your family, especially your parents, and others for whom thinking about the future this way could
be very hard, and patiently help them see the future through your eyes. It may be hard at first, but do it
anyway because they need to be in your future with you. Over time, they will begin to understand.
Send us your ideas. As we said, NGLS is yours. We want its future to be directly shaped by your ideas
and dreams. As you think about places and groups with whom the kinds of conversations we had
together might be powerful, please tell us. To keep NGLS alive and growing, we need your help!
Keep learning. We learned a lot about what it means to lead transformation together, and yet there is
still so much more to talk about. Continue to read your notes from our sessions, and also find more
resources that will help shape your leadership abilitiy. There are plenty of web sites with interesting
articles and ideas on leadership and leading change – keep learning as much as you can so that you can
be as prepared as possible for the challenging work ahead.
Face your endings to embrace your new beginning. In one of our early sessions together you may
remember talking about the way all new beginnings start with an ending. Endings are hard. They often
leave us confused and uncertain about our future, and require thoughtful work. However, to truly
embrace a new future, you must face what you’re leaving behind. What must end as you pursue the
future you dream of?
Invite others into the conversation. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to expand the
conversation. There were about 75 of you in the room, and look what we accomplished! What would
happen if we had 750 in the conversation? 7500? 75,000? Slovakia will be transformed as more and
more people awaken to their own dreams for a new future. And that will happen when we get more
people – especially your peers – into the conversation. Share your experience and new knowledge from
NGLS with your friends, your classmates, even your neighbors. Have your AIESEC LP sponsor a local
“NGLS night” and tell your community about what you have learned. Take a few friends to coffee and
simply show them your work. You will be amazed at how fast the conversation can spread. For
example, if each of you took 4‐5 friends to coffee or lunch, and for about 2‐3 hours, you discussed the
materials from NGLS, teaching them what you learned, and then you took one of the other “Story
Elements” that you didn’t work on already, and together wrote another “Story from the Future,” and
then you did that just three times (that’s about 9 hours of your time with people you would be with
anyway!), we would then have more than 1000 next generation leaders of Slovakia involved in the
conversation! Just think how powerful that would be!
Please know that the four of us are very thankful for you and all the hard, amazing work you did. One of
our goals was to learn through this NGLS experience, and you taught us a lot! We are very proud of you,
and want to help you become the best leaders you can for the future of Slovakia.
We will be posting your work on the NGLS Facebook Page when we finish transcribing it from the charts.
We’ll also be posting some photos and video there as well, so keep checking back as new content is
added. And invite your friends to become fans too! You’ll also find out how to keep in contact with us
there as well.
Let’s keep talking!
All our best,
Ivana, Jon, Josh & Ron