The Art of Storytelling has been around ever since the times of Panchatantra and before. While there is debate on when did Panchatantra originate, a lay man can settle for 3rd Century B.C. Panchatantra is a collection of fables written by Vishnu Sharma. These fables were used to help stupid princes evolve into smart monarchs. It is supposed to have worked then.
And it still seems to be working- Storytelling!
I guess I have stopped being amazed about the fact that an idea takes shape almost simultaneously in many minds. That I would have a wonderful conversation with my mentor on 29th April, and then think about conversations as a learning tool in organizations and that there would be a Storytelling weekend by Smithsonian Associates in DC around the same time speaks as much about arrival of the Period of Storytelling, as does about the merits of storytelling and conversations as a learning tool. That Pandit Vishnu Sharma and Prof. Schank have talked about it then and now, is a good reason for Instructional Designers and Learning (Training, if you must) managers to think about using storytelling as a learning tool.