Preview of World Domination Summit


When I heard the news that the rapture would take place two Saturdays ago, my first thought was … wait … how is that possible, since World Domination still has two weeks to go?

We need more time before the planet implodes!


Yesterday and today, the first attendees have been arriving in town for the inaugural World Domination Summit. Tomorrow we’ll be joined by 500 people from a dozen countries, meeting at the Portland Art Museum and various other locations around town.

When I announced the summit nine months ago, I really had no idea how to produce such an event. I approached it the same way I did publishing: ask a lot of questions, watch what others did, and announce the plan before I knew how it would unfold.

Since then, I’ve been fortunate to work with a great, all-volunteer team here in Portland, who has been coordinating hundreds of details—gift bags, breakout sessions, speakers, door prizes, negotiating with catering racketeers, hammocks, afterparty, transportation, and so on. (This is a very abbreviated list.)

It’s the first time for all of us to do such a thing. We’re nervous but excited, and it all begins tomorrow night.

Attendees! Here’s what you need to know

Like any AONC event, the best thing about WDS is all of the people who attend. As the host, I want to put on a good show and welcome people to our city, but I also know that most people enjoy the “unofficial” aspects of meetups at least as much as the official ones. Don’t be afraid to meet someone this weekend; they’re all fun people doing interesting things.

We have volunteers to greet you at the airport welcome center starting tomorrow morning at 10am, but if you miss them, no problem—just take the MAX train ($2.35) to your hotel or hostel downtown. Registration begins at 6:30pm tomorrow night, followed by an informal gathering. The main event begins at 9am Saturday morning, with doors opening at 8:30am.

(Everyone attending WDS should know this information already, but I’m posting it here just in case.)

Non-Attendees! Sorry you aren’t here, but we’ll think of you

I know that a number of people are coming to Portland for the weekend despite not having tickets to WDS. I’m sorry that it sold out so quickly (more than five months in advance), and I’m sorry to miss you if it didn’t work out. There are no last-minute tickets and we can’t accommodate anyone else at the summit itself, but you’re welcome to join many of our group on an “UnTour” (i.e., a general meetup) on Saturday night down by the waterfront. Many attendees are also arranging independent activities and gatherings around the weekend as well, and I hope you have a good visit to our fair city.

Numerous people have asked about live streaming the event, but we won’t be doing that this time. The main benefit of the weekend is having everyone all together in one place, and we couldn’t do a good job thinking about both the local audience and the faraway audience.

We will, however, be posting real-time images (hundreds of them) to my Flickr stream starting Friday night and continuing through the weekend. You can also keep up with the group through the Twitter hashtag #WDS. Our media team will be documenting the event for an upcoming compilation, and a few independent media outlets are also on site and will be doing… something (I really don’t know what).


If you don’t care about the World Domination Summit, here’s the takeaway: I was worried about inviting 500 people to come to town, but I’m glad I did it. If you wait until you feel confident about a big venture (or adventure), you may never do it. By some miracle, this is actually coming together, and I’m glad we decided to go for it nine months ago.

Whatever your own venture / adventure is, don’t hold back! Don’t wait. It usually works out in the end.

Question: whether coming to Portland or not, what are your plans for the weekend?


Image: Tammy!

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  • Cole Matson says:

    Plans for the weekend include going to X-Men: First Class with a friend, going to a garden party with a bunch of Jesuit priests, and preparing for the first of my final exams at Oxford University on Monday!

    Have a great Summit!

  • DeAnne Olguin Williamson says:

    Can’t believe how excited I am. See you tomorrow Chris!

  • Andre says:

    Hey! Best of luck. I hope I can attend the next one.

  • Mike Vardy says:

    So. Very. Stoked.

  • Megan says:

    Chris! Congratulations on what looks to be an epic event. I’m looking forward to attending WDS 2.0!

  • Algis Tamosaitis says:

    Sounds like an exciting event. I’m currently on my own adventure in Lithuania but looking forward to reading all about how the summit went. Hope everyone has a great time!

  • Jay Olson says:

    “I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap and then you grow wings.”
    – William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

    “Fall, then figure out what to do on the way down.”
    – Del Close

    Sounds amazing. Glad it all came together! Have fun, everyone…

  • Joe Oviedo says:

    Hello. Unfortunately I can’t be with you this time. None the less, I wish you Chris, all your team, and all the volunteers a tremendous success. I’ll keep close to the stream on flickr. Have a great one. 🙂

    Saludos desde Mexico.

  • Steven Hronek says:

    I finally publicized to my small group of followers that I’m leaving my day job for more exciting adventures. Now people are coming out of the woodwork to offer a hand or an idea. I wish I could be in Portland, but it looks like I’ll be hosting my own little domination summit this weekend!

  • Steve Errey says:

    Nice work Chris and team! Looking forward to a big weekend.

    Love your takeaway point – “If you wait until you feel confident about a big venture (or adventure), you may never do it” – that’s the confidence catch-22 right there!

  • Sophia says:

    Flying out this afternoon for PDX for the event. Very excited to meet so many people doing interesting things. Also looking foward to getting lost at Powell’s and trying my first voodoo donut (any recommendations on what kind?). There will probably be some wine drinking with my friend Blair, too!

  • Michelle Russell says:

    In the spirit of leaping before you’re ready, I’m doing my (very) small bit. I’ve left packing for the trip until later tonight.

    And did you consider that maybe the rapture was postponed because of the WDS? 😉

  • Lauie Ann says:

    I plan to come. I plan to get jazzed off the energy of all the other people and to be open to whatever the universe brings.

  • Scott McMurren says:

    Enjoying another day in Spain’s La Rioja wine country. Have a great time at the WDS!

  • Leah McClellan says:

    Wish I could be there! I hope everything is awesome. Maybe another one next year? I’ll check out the pics and enjoy vicariously 🙂

    This weekend for me–garden work! Digging a ditch around bamboo to protect neighbor from invasion. Happy to do it, though, especially with great (relatively cool) weather. Blog work too–working on that manifesto 🙂

    I’ll be thinking of Portland though! Have fun 🙂

  • Jeremy says:

    I wish I could have gone to Portland but I have the mundane plan of helping my brother with his car Saturday but Sunday I get to go to the safety briefing for the fireworks company I do part time work with. Now it is summer I get to help make noise. Plus it is a great way to get into events as being staff.

  • Brett Kelly says:

    My flight leaves for Portland in approximately 24 hours. This weekend, I’ll be meeting a pantload of awesome people, drinking lots of really good beer and trying like crazy to keep my spectacles dry. Can’t wait 🙂

  • Roz says:

    I can’t make it this year, but I’m sending best wishes from Massachusetts!

    This weekend (and the following week), I’m hanging out with some kickass nuns at a sustainable farm.

    Rock on.

  • Peggy McPartland says:

    Congratulations on putting such an amazing event together. I’m so happy you took that leap of faith and went forward in spite of never having done anything like this. I’m looking forward to the weekend and meeting up with awesome people!

  • Matt bailey says:

    Will be rockin out at WDS, jumping out of a plane, and leaping off a bridge. Wait, what have i done! Uh oh

  • Linda says:

    I can’t wait!! I’m making my last minute travel arrangements now. Woo hoo!

    I’ve never been to your fair city, but I plan on taking advantage of my four day stay:).

  • vina lustado says:

    i’ve been following along for awhile, but this is my first post. i’m so inspired by this event (and your writing, of course) that i had to ask a question to the members of your small army…

    for anyone who missed out on getting a ticket for WDS, but going to the “untour” event at the waterfront, is there more info on this? i may consider going to portland anyway so i can have a taste of this epic (ad)venture.

    if i don’t make it this year, i hope to do so for the next one…great job chris!

  • Jeff says:

    Can. Not. Wait.

    I’m 110% pumped for Chris’s debut WDS conference. I am attending and I will attend for as long as Chris -& the rest of this awesome group- keep WDS going.

    I leave from east coast Canada bright & early tomorrow morning. I’ll meet up with a new friend and roommate at the PDX airport.

    Then the real fun, friendship and learning rocks out at breakneck speeds for 48 hours.

    Chris and others — see you soon!


  • Sharon Knight says:

    So wish I was joining you fine folks! Found out about you after it was sold out. Next year for sure!

    But I’ll still have a fun weekend – performing a gig Friday night, modeling in a gothic-steampunk photoshoot for my clothing designer friend on Saturday, then first day of filming music video for my band (Pandemonaeon) Sunday.

    Missing WDS could be worse.

    Have a great time, and I will see you next year!

  • The Letter "B" says:

    Weekend plans? Hitting up a spoken word poetry spot on Friday. Spending some quality time with family on Saturday and three singing gigs on Sunday. Sheesh. Happy weekend, everyone. 🙂

  • Jonathan Mead says:

    Really impressed with the great job you and the volunteers have done Chris.

    Can’t wait to meet up with a ton of awesome people this weekend. Thanks for bringing everyone together.

  • GutsyWriter says:

    Excited to meet fascinating people from around the world. Hope to meet anyone who has done Peace Corps work, or helped abroad.

  • Nina Grenningloh says:

    My weekend plans? Meeting awesome people at #wds and soak up all the fantastic energy. Thanks Chris and all the volunteers for doing such a fantastic job organizing this. See you all tomorrow! 🙂

  • Idara says:

    Preparing for a trip to Paris later on this month! Totally a leap of faith…

  • Steve K. says:

    This weekend I’ll be (among other things) …

    + wishing I was at WDS
    + following the tweets from #WDS on Twitter
    + enjoying a Justice Kitchen meal with my fledgling faith community (discussing food and justice issues)

  • Stephanie says:

    I was unable to swing the cost at the time the tickets were available, unfortunately, but I do live in Portland and might be lurking at one of the unofficial meet up events.

    You are SO lucking out and having everyone in Portland for what’s going to be the most gorgeous weather of the year thus far!

  • Lorrie says:

    My daughters and I are organizing our own adventure in this part of the world. A few days ago we weren’t very confident about it, but after reading your article… we are totally excited to be hosting the first ever Manila ETSY craft party 2011. I am always
    encouraged by what you write.

    Have a great weekend!

  • Mary Jane says:

    Attending the awesome and amazing World Domination Summit. YAY!

  • Dezy Walls says:

    Planning with friends in Portland how to get my pianobike over from NY … love to hear ideas from you world dominators … (live here but missed out on tickets for the big one) … write if you’re inspired!

  • Michelle says:

    Is it Friday yet?? 🙂

  • Karen Talavera says:

    Chris, I wish you a super-successful first event and kick-ass summit! I expect continued world domination from you and much more from all the WDS attendees!

    Although I was interested in attending it was not meant to be – since I missed BOTH the emails for the reg. deadline and then waitlist opening – but no worries – I trust in the alignment of the universe and my own decisions.

    I’ll definitely be checking in on Twitter and your Flickr photo stream – please send an email reminder or two to those of us not there since like many I am not online as much on weekends as M-F.

    My plans for the weekend? Hmmm, so many tough choices when you live in paradise. First, teach my Saturday Zumba class, then probably the beach, maybe some snorkeling, and down time with my husband and daughter. Oh and dinner al fresco on Saturday night. As much as I’d love to be at WDS I’m blessed to be where I am and enjoying every minute of it.

  • Angeline says:

    Your takeway…the last two paragraphs… are what this is all about! Love it and thanks always for the motivation you continue to give. Hope the weekend is magnificent for all who attend.

  • Benny says:

    I’ll be living vicariously through pics, Twitter then reading all the wrap up posts next week! Sounds like it will be a blast.

  • Maggie Dodson says:

    I’m going to walk one block up the road and survey the food carts to see which one gets my juices going………….I’m cold (summer was in Washington, 34c!), I’m tired after many delays, I’m still wearing the same clothes I set out from London in two days ago because my case is lost (yes, all you minimalists, I see the benefits of not having one) and I’m very very hungry.

    Then I’m looking for the best coffee in town.

    Say Hi if you spot me.

  • Maggie Dodson says:

    PS I might be the wet one, my umbrella’s in the wandering case.

  • Darby says:

    This will be off the hook!

  • Gina says:

    Have been in Portland since Tuesday and am loving it! Can’t wait till tomorrow and thanks for all you and your teams hard work on what I’m sure will be a tremendous event.

  • Rachel says:

    Although I’ll be in PDX, sorry I couldn’t score tix. Attendees, enjoy our fair city. We’re glad you came. If the weather forecast holds true, you will see PDX at it’s best this weekend!

  • Mimaranda says:

    Hi Chris, Congratulations, so exciting! Would love to be there, hope you turn it into an annual event and I can make the trek from Australia soon 🙂

  • Eddy Azar says:

    I finally hit my big break in freelancing…and I’m nervous as hell every step of the way. I’ll be spending the weekend writing loads of copy, setting up a retainer deal, meeting with a few new clients, and hitting a rave on saturday night.

    The world is open to us…lets do something amazing with it!


  • Sylvia says:

    My plans for the weekend?

    Textiles Tieton!

    Mighty Tieton in Tieton, WA, is helping a small town in Central Washington grow into a haven for artisan businesses and the arts.

    If you’re not in Portland for AONC’s World Domination Summit, a trip to sunny Tieton would not be a bad idea!

  • Ramona says:

    I dilly dallied… and waited too long. I will be watching from the west coast of canada. Super excited to see how it unfolds and definitely going to attend the next one.

  • Mike says:

    Congrats on WDS coming to fruition (courtesy of the no-show Apocalypse) — it’s going to be an awesome weekend and a really great gathering of people.

    Just the overall spirit and creative energies will make the event hugely successful. Add to that the shared insights and new ideas, and… well, it’s definitely going to be a catalyst for positive change in people’s lives.

    I was one of the many participant-hopefuls who didn’t make the initial ticket count…. But I’m looking forward to being part of WDS 2012!!! (Preferably held prior to December 21 😛 )

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

  • Dr. David Powers says:

    Arrived in Portland a day early and am already in love with the city.

  • Claire says:

    Just wanted to wish you and your team well for the massive weekend you have ahead of you! I’m involved with events often, love them! But there is a certain feeling when you sit down with your team afterwards, ideally with a drink, and just stop. To have a minute to stop moving and reacting and deciding and talking. To breathe. And then to begin the sharing of the stories… 🙂
    Hoping you all have energy and patience and joy throughout it all!
    Looking forward to hearing the wrap-up

  • Andrea says:

    This weekend I’m going to be wishing I would have known about you 9 months ago instead of 9 days ago. 😉 Have a great event, see you next time!

  • Terri says:

    Chris, I am your reader in Taiwan. My plan for the weekend is to enjoy a “wine tasting course” with my colleagues.

    Wish you have a wonderful summit.

  • Laura Lee Bloor says:

    I’m so happy for you, Chris! I wish you nothing but the best on this big adventure, and I know it will be great. I hope I can join you for a similar event in the future.

  • Nick Maniatis says:

    Looking forward to a weekend of awesomeness.

    For those of you who haven’t checked the weather… no need to worry about rain for Friday or Saturday. Clear & sunny at least through Saturday (82F). I ran into at least a half-dozen WDS’ers last evening at “First Thursdays” BootsNAll meetup who hosted Sherry Ott ( for a Meet Plan Go presentation.

    For those of you new to Portland, find your way up to Washington Park and the rose test gardens & amphitheater TODAY… you’ll get the “postcard” view of Mt Hood & Portland that you’ll see on virtually every travel brochure and website.

    See you soon,

    Ps. I’m just now cobbling together my blog… If you know someone experienced with WordPress or maybe more specifically the Thesis theme… I could use some expert assistance. Thanks!

  • Jessica Collins says:

    Wow! This is my first time visiting this site & blog. I was led here by your book, The Art of Non-Conformity, which I just finished reading literally 2 minutes ago. I’m writing this from a cafe in Kona, Hawaii. It is my last day on the Big Island after a year of adventures in organic farming, vagabonding, and leaving my traditional work-robot life behind in Indianapolis. I am flying out tonight & arriving in Portland, my soon-to-be new home, tomorrow morning at 8:30am. I’m agape at how amazingly this book has reinforced my self-confidence in the new life I’m living. I intend to bring the fire that this past year in Hawaii has created inside of me, and integrate it into the colorful new chapter that begins for me tomorrow. What a pleasure & surprise to know that there will huge presence of inspiring, living-world non-conformists arriving & congregating in Portland the moment I arrive. I wish I could attend! I see that the event is long sold-out (congrats on that!) so maybe I’ll find myself in the company of the waterfront group tomorrow night. Thanks for writing this book & for helping set the tone of my new life. Aloha!!

  • John Tully says:

    This weekend? I’m visiting my daughter and son in law, in Fresno! Maybe it’s the next best thing…Have a great Summit.

  • Anita C says:

    I was sorry to miss the WDS because it filled up before I could register, but I went to Portland this last weekend anyway, hoping to meet up with the attendees. I didn’t make the Untour either because I went to an animation film festival with people I met at the hostel where I was staying (including one of the film makers from England). However, I have always wanted to come to visit the Pacific Northwest and this provided me a good reason (even though I ultimately didn’t make it to any of the WDS events). It was great! I saw Portland, Seattle, Mt. St. Helens, the rainforest, the Pacific Ocean. I slept in a hostel, on the beach, and at a relative of a friend’s house. I exchanged a song for a meal, played at the Portland Saturday Market, met surfers, philosophers and fellow wanderers. It was a grand adventure and well worth the trip! Maybe I will catch you all next time!

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