The People and Magic of World Domination Summit 2012

Little moments of magic are hard to explain.

When you live through one, you know in your heart and soul that you were part of something and yet trying to explain it to others who did not witness it in person is near impossible. This is where I am now. Trying to explain this past weekend in Portland at the World Domination Summit.

The focus of the event is “living a remarkable life in a conventional world” and I’ve always known that my life certainly falls into that framework.

Looking around the theatre, packed on all three levels, I saw people of every age, color and nationality. Men, women, artist, entrepreneurs, dreamers and professors. Some were already blazing their own paths, while many were actively trying to find theirs.

After a hello I’d start every conversation with the simple question of, “what brought you here?” The reasons were as diverse as the people.

For me, I attended because I wanted to be surrounded by like minded people. I needed to talk to others who believe that we each make our lives what we dream for them to be. I was curious if what I had written in my next book was in fact true or not.

Me & Dorothea

As I write these words on the plane on my way home, I can confirm that I found everything I had set out for. I’ve already bought my ticket for next years event and this conference has moved to the top of my personal must attend list of events.

The adventurous spirit was alive and well and by the end of the first day, an idea that I’ve been toying with for years was screaming inside to be let out. I made a silent promise that when I got home I was going to figure out a way to finally let it out and play.

Grabbing dumplings and local brews with old friend Eric Rice proved to only fuel the fire. We talked about the old days and the stagnate streams of social we were both growing tired of. As we kicked back later with coffee and shared stories of our children I couldn’t shake the importance of the weekend.

As if everything wasn’t already amazing about the weekend, there was one more moment of magic as the summit came to a close on an emotional high.

Chris Guillebeau took the stage and purposely rolled up his sleeves.

He told a story of losing significant money on the previous years event. About the team discussions and decisions to continue and to not take on sponsors.

He shared the story of a first year attendee wanting to make a generous anonymous donation and the conflict this posed to the team to stay pure to their ideals in light of making a profit on this years event.

You could see the emotion in his eyes and the passion in his heart. Whatever he was going to share next was big and even I could feel it welling up inside me and I had no idea what was coming.

He announced that as we left the theater, every attendee was going to be handed an envelope. Chris held up one and ripped it carefully open. Inside was a hundred dollar bill and a simple ask.

This $100 investment was to support each of us in doing something good. One thousand of us rose to our feet with a roar of applauds.

World Domination Summit's $100 Investment means Amazing Things WILL Happen

Events are started to make money. The World Domination Summit was started to change lives. Taking a donation and the profits from this years event and turning around and giving it to the attendees is one of the most generous and genius decisions I’ve ever witnessed.

I’m taking my $100 Investment and opening a bank account with it to start that crazy idea I’ve been thinking about. A year from now I hope to return to #WDS2013 and tell my story about what I did with it and more.

Thank you Chris and every energizing soul who shared in this weekend with me.

My life is better because of it.

  • This sounds fantastic. I absolutely loved reading the Art of Non-Conformity. The fact that Chris turned around and donated the money back to the audience is remarkable. What a bold move!

    I always came home from Chris Pirillo’s Gnomedex conference re-energized and excited. Not just because of the stellar speakers Chris always booked, but because of the quality of people in the audience. I made lots of good friends attending Gnomedex over the years. I miss that conference.

    I want to be there next year too. It sounds like an inspirational experience I should not miss. WDS is on my list for next year. I recommend everybody read Chris’ Art of Non-Conformity too.
    I’m keen to see how you will spend your $100 C.C.

  • Great to see you there! Let me know of I can be of assistance with bringing that dream to life. -Your west of 495 buddy.

  • Again, I loved experiencing it through your photos and posts. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to next year.

  • Pingback: World Domination Summit 2012: The First Event I've Cried At (Twice)()

  • The great C.C. Chapman rides again!

    So great to have you there, man. Let’s catch up more soon.

    • I’m so glad I finally got to shake your hand and say thank you for everything you do. I was getting worried that wasn’t going to happen!

      Yes, lets catch up for sure.

  • Hmmm makes me feel like I should have skipped SXSW and gone to WDS.

    Next year I might do that to hear your success story on that project you are starting!

    Sometimes it takes a unique way to present $100 to get people to commit to improving their world which can create a butterfly effect of changing the complete world into a better place!

  • That $100,000 give-back was quite amazing, wasn’t it? I feel like I have to do something utterly remarkable with the money — oh, the pressure! I still haven’t decided what that will be, though Charity:Water is a strong, quiet contender. The work that Scott Harrison and his crew are doing is mind-blowingly awesome.

    I look forward to seeing what your new bank account turns into!

    • Yes it was amazing, but I think that many people will just donate the money to a cause they love and that is fine as well. Others will do crazy big things. The key is that it is something good and that is what is so amazing about it all.

      • Yeah, I love that Chris extended a challenge to do something good with it. I’m ruminating on ways to turn that $100 into more world-changing good than just $100…

  • Pingback: The Art of Non-Conformity » What Happened at the World Domination Summit()

  • ” Events are started to make money. The World
    Domination Summit was started to change lives. ”

    That is so
    absolutely true. Actions speak so much louder than words, and I think everyone in the audience could not only hear and see what was happening, but feel it as well. Everyone in attendance believes in one another and is willing to do all they can to support and encourage one another. That’s an experience you’re not going to find just anywhere. Great post. See you next year!

    • Yes, the level of emotion in that room was something that COULD be felt. Hard to explain to anyone who wasn’t there.

  • I can’t believe i missed this!! Where can i buy a ticket for next year?

    • They have not gone on sale just quite yet. If you go to the website you can sign up to be notified when they do.

  • Rob Pieters

    Great story! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lovely post and it summarizes the intangible overwhelmingness of being in a room – a room of 1000 people, no less – who seem to get you. I walked away from WDS last year feeling energized and inspired, and this year was no different, despite the fact that the conference doubled in size. Great to meet you briefly and see you at WDS ’13!

    • SO happy we got to meet and to hug!! For a little woman you sure do give a great hug! 🙂

      I know what you mean. No matter what walk of life someone is from we all understood each other. A refreshing feeling for sure!

  • Pingback: World Domination Summit 2012: Community, Adventure, Service | PFS()

  • Pingback: Nice World photos | Latest News For Everthing You Know()

  • Pingback: World Domination Summit (WDS) 2012 - Lessons Learned | Legal Nomads()

  • Miss K

    I can’t wait to hear all the success stories next year!

  • Pingback: The $100 Investment | Write. Think. Do.()