World Domination Summit

Done But Not Over

Imagine announcing ‘this is a wrap’ to a sold-out, best-in-class gathering that consistently improved over ten versions (thirteen years due to pandemic disruptions). An event attended by super fans, individuals so inspired they broke numerous world records for fun, including this year’s iteration with the most individuals dressed in T-Rex costumes.

When we build something magical, authentic, memorable, and one of a kind, we might consider adopting a river mindset. We are visitors to the confluence point between individuals and events. The main channel moves forward at some point, and the merge is complete. We cannot stay forever at this liminal boundary where two things combine, but we might capture the spirit and retell the stories. These imprints will serve us well as we encounter what is around the bend as we navigate the next section of the canyon.

As Barry Lopez reminded us, “Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.”

Thank you, World Domination Summit, for a transformational journey and living the values of community, adventure, and service. It was remarkable and shall live on.

What Gets You On A Plane?

What event or opportunity is meaningful enough to get you on a plane (or another form of transit)? With ubiquitous virtual conferencing platforms, why do we ever need to travel again? Why can in-person connections not generate the same intensity as those created on a screen? Why do groups that exist in a virtual platform hold in-person gatherings (online gaming competitors, Youtubers, etc.)? In my experience, there are planned connections that we can schedule when we gather in person. A friend or colleague we look forward to seeing. Then there is serendipity. The individual we sit next to at a meal or during a presentation. The one we discover a point of confluence with adds depth and dimension to our journey (and work). I have several in-person connections from attending the same conference for over ten years; our online chats archived on the conference app. I have few virtual friends that I connected with on-screen and shared contact information. Creating the necessary depth and dimension from a virtual connection is much more challenging.

I am attending the final World Domination Summit (an unconventional weekend for unconventional thinkers) in Portland, OR. After the pandemic caused a two-year delay, the summit re-launches to celebrate its final iteration. It would be convenient not to attend; a multi-year delay disrupted the cadence of the event and disjointed some of the networks of participants. But the group is remarkable, and the connections resonate. The event does not define me, but it expands my mindset. It adds crucial details to the unmapped portions of my journey. The flight there represents the front door of the odyssey.

I Recommend

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I am a big fan of Chris Guillebeau.  I encountered him virtually while he was in the middle of a quest to travel to every country in the world.  His stories were honest, energetic, adventurous, and generous.  Even when barriers appeared that put his itinerary in jeopardy, he assumed a curious mindset to provide perspective and allowed him to work on a solutions.   Chris encouraged his readers to strike out on their own ‘trip around the world,’ even when it manifested into traveling to a close-by city that one had not yet visited.

A few years later, Chris started an unconventional conference titled the World Domination Summit.  The name alone captured the audacity of thinking differently mixed with the underlying mission to be of service to others.  After missing the sign-up for the inaugural event, I attended every year.  This June was scheduled to be the tenth and final iteration, however 2021 is the recently rescheduled crescendo of the WDS experience.  Again, Chris is the ultimate host and conference visionary.  He borrowed key ingredients from other successful conferences, added a splash of Portland, Oregon and a lot of generosity to build the most remarkable events.  The attendees and speakers are extraordinary, engaged, and willing to share their unique skills with the broader community.

Each time Chris offers something new to the community, I am excited to engage.  He writes with a voice that resonates and what he offers is accessible and feels customized for me.  His latest book, The Money Tree released this week, and I encourage others who think or act unconventionally to explore these ideas and stories with Chris.

2019 WDS Highlights


World Domination Summit 2019 in Portland, Oregon delivered remarkable insights.  Speaker highlights included:

“Time is elastic and will stretch to accommodate what we need and want.  When we say we do not have the time, we are acknowledging that the opportunity is not a priority.” Laura Vanderkam

“Prove people right”Humble the Poet

“Ignore individual suggestions in feedback.  Focus instead on the consistency of the comments.  Look for the signals.”Scott Young

“Change your financial plan when your life changes, not when the market moves.”  Jill Schlesinger

Teaching is a selfish profession.  If you do it right, you learn more about yourself than you teach other people”James Victore

“Suspend disbelief and leap into the unknown.”Tania Katan

“Sometimes you need to sword fight the beast into the other room in order to make space for your work.”Marsha Shandur


To my friends who attended the Strategic Wayfinding Meetup on Saturday.  Here is a link to the meetup handout page and more information about Generative Thinking and Governance As Leadership.  Thank you for attending and sharing your insights!

World Domination Summit 2014

IMG_6760Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit is a highlight each year.  The speakers are remarkable, the attendees engaged in inspirational projects, and the summit’s community commitment to service dynamic.  Highlights included:

  • AJ Jacobs encouraged us to act differently and allow our mind to catch-up, not allow our dreams to be deferred.
  • Jada Sellner emphasized the importance of imperfect action over waiting for the perfect moment.
  • Shannon Galpin asked us if we were using our own voice or borrowing someone elses.
  • Michael Hyatt challenged us with three questions 1. How do I want to be remembered? 2. What is important to me? 3. What single brave decision do I need to make today?
  • Gary Hirsch asked the audience what is one brave thing we want to do but have not?  Bots were distributed to serve as on-going inspiration.
  • Dee Williams challenged us to show-up wearing our cape and announce our super power.
  • Elise Blaha Cripte encouraged us to say our goals out loud and stop looking for a treasure map.
  • Scott Berkun suggested we have to be vulnerable in order to make stuff.  Choose to honor the idea.
  • Jan Jantsch presented the importance of creating loyal customers by choosing the right customers and asking how we can be of service to each other.

The impact of these profound insights have been of great value.  I hope they might add value to your remarkable journey.