Last weekend I attended the World Domination Summit (The what, Steve? Come again.) and I’m still reeling from the experience.
WDS was started five years ago by Chris Guillebeau, the author of The $100 Startup and The Happiness of Pursuit, and blogger at The Art of Non-Conformity, where he’s chronicled his quest to visit every sovereign country on Earth (which he’s now achieved). It’s a gathering of his community in celebration of the core values of community, adventure, and service, held annually in the amazing and beautiful city of Portland, Oregon.
This year there were nearly 3000 people (and getting a ticket isn’t so easy – even more so next year when they deliberately shrink the event back down to 1000 people). They have keynote speakers (this year’s included CDbaby founder and pop-philosopher Derek Sivers, Food Babe Vani Hari, author Jon Acuff, photographer Jeremy Cowart, Kid President and his awesome uncle Brad Montague, and others), academies (I attended one on location independent working and another on speed-learning a language), numerous informal meetups on a variety of topics, as well as food trucks, Bollywood dancing, carnival games and the like. It was fun.
It was also inspiring – and not so much for the formal program but for the ease at which everybody – including the many self-identified introverts (including Chris himself) – could mingle with anybody. As I’ve posted about before, these types of idea conferences are an antidote to the “what can you do for me” business card exchange, industry conference so many of us also go to. At WDS, you would almost always be standing or sitting next to someone you didn’t know and inevitably one of you would ask the other, “So, what are you up to?” And the stories, ranging from remarkable professional projects to nomadic work-life balance to personal life choices, would be captivating – without exception.
High-fives to the organizing team. Great weekend!
(By the way, as soon as it is posted I will link to video of photographer Jeremy Cowart’s presentation on . Beautiful, sad, uplifting – he had the whole auditorium in tears.)