World Domination Summit 2012: Community, Adventure, Service

Last June, I helped nine friends do something crazy. With the help of a few dozen volunteers, we staged a conference at the Portland Art Museum. We called this conference the World Domination Summit. After a year of planning and tons of work and worry, five hundred people came together and…well, the experience was truly awesome.

This year, we repeated the experiment but on a larger scale. Last weekend, this same group of ten people (along with another few dozen volunteers) brought one thousand people (1007 people, to be exact) to Portland's gorgeous Newmark Theater for another weekend of networking, sharing, and inspiration.

Logan makes some last-minute adjustments as the crowd arrives

What is the World Domination Summit? It's tough to describe. And I know, I know - the name doesn't help. It's meant to be tongue-in-cheek. This isn't a gathering for super-villains or call girls or terrorists. Instead, WDS is a place for artists, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and world travelers to come together and compare notes.

Organizer Chris Guillebeau says that WDS is meant to answer the question: “How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” He says that the conference's core values are Community, Adventure, and Service. Jonathan Fields described the conference as “Woodstock for world changers”, and that seems apt.

Change Your Self - Change the World
We had some great speakers in 2011 for our first World Domination Summit. I feel like this year, our speakers took it to another level. (And wait until you see who we have slated for next year!)

This year, our first speaker was Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston. Brown specializes in vulnerability and shame. About seven million people have watched her TEDx talk about vulnerability:

For the World Domination Summit, Brown talked about what she calls “the one true currency”. What's that? She says, “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you say to someone when you're being uncool…All the stuff that keeps you safe from feeling scary emotions? They also keep you from feeling the good emotions. You have to shake those off. You have to become vulnerable.”