The $100 Investment


Have you ever withdrawn $100,000 in cash from the bank? Me neither … until last week.

This post includes a video from last weekend’s World Domination Summit, and a brief explanation on why our team invested $100 in each WDS attendee.


A number of people have asked me to share more about the surprise we unveiled at the end of WDS 2012. As mentioned on Thursday, you can read the experiences of many other people who were at WDS all over the internet. (This list will be updated soon, since there are now more than 150 posts.)

With all of the stories going around, I thought it would be good to show everyone else how this surprise sendoff took place, and also explain a bit about why we did it.

You can see the entire sendoff in this new 13-minute video we’re releasing today. This video was never intended to be public—it was just something I shared with the group who came to Portland. If you weren’t there, hopefully the context and tone comes through somewhat adequately.

The $100 Investment

Videographer: Wes Wages

The best way to understand why we made the mass investment is to watch the actual video. I know, it’s 13-minutes long and you have to listen to me talk, but we did put everything in there for a reason.

As I explained in the video, all kinds of people come to WDS, and many of them do all kinds of inspiring things. During a forum we produced on the final day, we heard from Nate who walked across America, Stephanie who supported a different charity every day for a year, Michelle who fought breast cancer with a creative spirit, and several other shining examples of what WDS is about.

Great as they were, these examples represented less than a dozen of the 1,000 people we had in attendance, most of whom could have also shared their own unconventional story if we had enough time.

Last year our all-volunteer team produced the first WDS at a financial loss of about $30,000. When I wrote about it at the time, a number of people didn’t understand, but I meant what I said: I was thrilled to do it and we knew we were building something that was bigger than all of us.

As a result of last year’s successful event, we received a lot of attention and had much higher demand for the sequel. More than 5,000 people were on the waiting list for WDS 2012, and we sold out of all available tickets six months in advance. Our contacts with the city of Portland who helped to arrange the venue kept saying to us, “Wow, you guys have great attendance!”

And we kept saying to them: “Oh, it could have been much, much more.”

Another high point: several of our team members overheard the venue staff talking about the whole group. One of them said, “These people who are taking over the world are very nice! I’m surprised.”

Yeah, that’s how we roll – nice job, guys.

After last year I was contacted by a number of companies who wanted to sponsor WDS, as well as an organization who wanted to purchase the entire brand for a large sum of money.

Our team talked it over and considered different alternatives, but we came to the decision that WDS would remain completely non-commercial and sponsor-free. I don’t think all companies are evil, but I just couldn’t picture filling our event space with logos and constantly making announcements to thank different corporations.

We try to be consistent and coherent in our branding. Our gift bags contained useful and high-quality items, not promotional junk from various other brands. Our stage design featured a full-size wooden globe and lighting that adjusted based on what each speaker was talking about.

At some point in the process of brainstorming WDS 2012 we had a fun idea: why not invest “our” money back in our attendees, all of whom have great ideas of their own?

Also, I was curious… what would happen if you gave away $100 with a charge to do something interesting?

We used the profits from the event and a donation from an anonymous donor (it wasn’t me) who attended WDS 2011 and wanted to make a significant contribution.

We also tried to prepare everyone throughout the weekend by saying that the sendoff would include a surprise that they had to be present to receive. (If you weren’t there, you didn’t get an envelope later.)

In taking this action, we’re essentially placing a bet. We’re betting that our smart community can figure out a good use for their funds. I’m glad to see that people are responding well to the call-to-action. There are now more than 150 blog posts with various stories and personal experiences.

In the “no good deed goes unpunished” department, I have also seen some skepticism of the act of trusting people with so much money, as well as comments from people who don’t believe that we actually distributed the money in cash. Oh yes we did! Ask anyone who was there.

We’re betting that the skeptics are wrong, and that WDS folks will put their funds to good use. Already we’re seeing fun ideas take root: several people are “regifting” their $100 and asking their own network of friends to do the same. On Saturday morning more than half the audience pledged to give their birthday to Charity: Water, and several have added the $100 toward their campaigns.

Among other stories, Rami in Canada has promised to pay me back $1,000 if he doesn’t complete his book manuscript before next year’s WDS (I told him I’ll accept the bet, but I hope he wins).


The $100 Investment was a one-time project. We won’t be giving away $100,000 at next year’s WDS. This time, though, we’re thrilled that we did it.

What will be the long-term effects of this act? We’re not sure. It was a grand-scale public experiment, built on the belief that good people can do something good with an unexpected investment.

The guiding principles of WDS are community, adventure, and service. Underlying all of these things, I hope, is a sense of gratitude. We have good lives! We can do big things!

Freely receive, freely give.

Pursue your own goals and make the world a better place. That’s what AONC has always been about, and that’s certainly an underlying message of the World Domination Summit.

Big thanks to all who made this happen: our 10-person Action Team that meets throughout the year, the 60 volunteer Ambassadors who joined us to produce the weekend gathering, our speakers who volunteer their time, and all of our great attendees who traveled from more than 20 countries to be with us and each other last weekend.

The best is yet to come.

If you were at WDS 2012, what will you be doing with your investment?

If you didn’t make it this time … want to come next year?

Feel free to share your comments for others.


Subscribe now and you’ll get the best posts of all time.


  • Sean says:

    Great stuff Chris. I am still buzzed and touched by this.

    I have an idea about of how to invest it. For those that don’t believed Chris…believe…my wife and I got a 100 dollar bill each.

    I can’t wait to see the ROI on this. My guess is it will be off the charts.

  • Nate St. Pierre says:

    The $100 investment was the high point of the conference for me. Not because of the money, but because of the idea . . . the bet that 1,000 remarkable people can do amazing things with an unexpected gift. It fit in beautifully with the entire event, and pulled everything together at the end.

    Love it, man. So glad I was able to be there. Keep doing things your own way!

  • Heather Allard says:

    Seriously amazing.

    I hope to be at WDS 2013. 😀


  • Amy Nieto says:

    YES! I want to attend next year. I am already saving up. Though I understand if the price for attending goes up. I have enjoyed reading through all reviews and reflections on the events. Though I couldn’t attend, I feel so inspired by reading what attendees gained form the weekend. Amazing.

    Much luck, Team!

  • Erin McNaughton says:

    It’s one thing to give money to a cause, whether it be a charity, a friend in need, or an organization whose work you support. It’s an entirely different ballgame when someone has entrusted you with their own fund and is patiently awaiting updates…and expecting awesome results.

    After spending fifteen years in Catholic school, where service to others was mandatory, giving of my time and money has become an intricate part of my life’s philosophy and practice. However, after receiving the “$100 Investment,” I feel like what I’m doing is not enough. All of the sudden volunteering and donating feel small scale. I CAN DO MORE. I can innovate in order to burgeon a cause that I care about, or launch something of my own. The possibilities are endless and the motivation to go out and do good is insurmountable. This one thoughtful gesture is going to change the world in so many ways. I’m humbled to have been a part of this, and I cannot wait to see where the $100,000 ends up and what it will contribute to our world.

  • Brittany says:

    Wow! I can’t wait to see what people do with this investment. I love that you chose to avoid sponsorship and then turn the tables and actually sponsor your own community. What a cool idea. As one of the many thousands of people on the wait list, I think I will take $100 and see where I can invest.

  • David says:


  • Rebecca says:

    Oh yes you did! 🙂 And thank you so much for that. I was, and still am, moved by the show of trust and encouragement from this. You and your team know how to bring together a most amazing group of people, and I cannot wait to see what their generous, inspiring minds do with this investment. For me, I’m still working on my idea, but you can bet it will come from the heart!

  • Joseph Bernard says:

    Loved the video and the powerful message of belief in those who attended. Your message of belief in community, in life as an adventure and the importance of service is a bright beacon of light out into the world.

    My wife and I were so touched and we didn’t even attend. We plan to be there next year if we aren’t too busy with our projects to spread love, light, joy and peace out into the world.

    The more we question, the more we explore, the more live with passion and purpose, the greater the world will be.

    Truly thanks for your inspiration,


  • Etsuko says:


    I am so glad you put this up for everyone to see, as well as telling (again) why you did it. I told my husband about the story, and as much as he appreciated the significance of your decision, he was also wondering “why”. I agree that you kind a have to be there to “get” the whole picture. When you gave us the copy of the “$100 Startup” book at registration on Friday evening, I was curious if there is any other reason than for us to give it away to others, as I suspected most of us already had a copy. But when I got the envelop, I thought “OK, Chris is telling us to really do something with it. Now we have the manual (the book), and we have the money. No more excuses”. I can’t wait to share our stories of what came of it.

    By the way, I left the copy of “$100 startup” at my friends’ family who hosted us in Portland. My friend’s brother-in-law was particularly interested in WDS (“why did you come all the way from San Diego 2 years in a raw??), so I left my friend the copy of the book and asked her to pass it on to him. When I came back home, I heard from my friend that her 9 year old son started reading it. Never too early to start, right?

  • Mike Watts says:

    Amazing!! What else needs to be said.

  • Efrutik says:

    I really hope to make it to the WDS event next year in 2013. The key points about the community are what you guys all do is life affirming and inspiring! By next year I do hope that I have lived up to my own potential of finding the synergy between the person that I want to be and the one I am daily. After all as Chris said “We have good lives! We can do big things!”

    Look forward to seeing how the investments unravel themselves.

  • Andre says:

    After watching the video & reading about WDS the last two years, I second what Heather said, I too cannot wait to join WDS 2013!

  • Maryper says:

    Awesome!! Chris this is a “tribe” that is growing because people are created to connect and help each other. 2013 I am so there! Well done!!

  • Sandi Amorim says:

    I’ve noticed an interesting thing online since the weekend: a bit of angst or pressure around how to invest the $100. Truth is, as blown away as I was by the gift, I’ve not thought about it that much. The right idea will show up in its own time, and until them I’m going to savour all the awesomeness of the weekend. The question that now starts my day is “How do I live a remarkable life in an unconventional world?” I figure if I keep waking up to this question it will work on me from the inside out 🙂

  • Jana Schuberth says:

    I cannot even begin to put into words how much this has moved me Chris! All I can actually say is: Thank You.

  • Nicky Yeager says:

    Great job activating subversive positivists. Should be inspiring to see what develops out of AONC investment.

    Sign me up for next year’s WDS Chris.


  • Anita Chase says:

    I still have not made it to a WDS. The first year, I procrastinated until the tickets were sold and then I went to Portland anyway. I walked all around the city, went to a senior citizen dance with a stranger, hiked around Mt. St. Helens, slept by the ocean, and visited a friend’s cousin. I didn’t make it out to the conference, but it inspired a grand adventure.

    This year, I almost got a ticket, but the time ran out while waiting for a friend to confirm whether they could go too. So instead, I played a show with one of my bands, worked on revamping my blog, and met with a former boss to talk about entrepreneurship. I didn’t make it to the conference, but it inspired continuing to work on my vision of independence.

    I still want to make it to a conference and will try again for 2013, as this is exactly the kind of community I want to interact more with. But if I don’t, I am sure it will still inspire something awesome. 🙂

  • Brooke Rothman says:

    A few of us are planning a New York Meetup to help each other brainstorm our $100 dollar projects, help keep each other accountable, and just to meet and collaborate. Will keep you posted …

  • C.C. Chapman says:

    Thank you for writing this up and sharing it with the video. I sat down with my daughter so she could watch it since she was inspired by the story when I told it to her.

    It was just as emotional watching it as it was sitting there in the room when you first did it.

    Thank you again for being the man you are.

  • George Mihaly says:

    Thanks to the WDS team for giving me the opportunity to help in a very small way in helping create this event. My volunteer experience was life changing. Super excited for next year. Cheers -George

  • DK Upshaw says:

    I already have a cartooning/caricaturing/animation/commercial art business in my home town that could use a boost. You’ve inspired me to take action with $100 of the pay I’m getting from a project. Let’s see. . . I could spend it on advertising/marketing. . . I could create new products. . . I could invest in technology. . . I could. . .

  • Ernie Dempsey says:

    Fascinating idea. I’m very curious to see some of the things that come out of this. Maybe an exclusive page on AONC for updates?

  • Owen Marcus says:

    I thought after year at WDS my surprise bar was raised to its limit. Then I came back this year with the honor of presenting on our nonprofit venture on how to start a micro-community. That raised the bar even more. Then there were twice as many amazing people. That raised my bar even more.

    Then when I realized what Chris was up to with his closing remarks I immediately had that deep pain one gets when you were just hit with news that opens your heart. Even though the news is amazing there is pain. For a second I considered resisting the pain… but I was sitting in a room with 1,000 close friends. So I let the pain transcend into joy as the tears streamed down my cheeks and I caught my breath.

    Chris, JD, Michelle and their gang did something that is unheard of today. Not only did they refund 1/5 the cost of the WDS, they entrusted 1,000 friends to invest that money in something that would bring good.

    Chris is an anachronism; a successful businessman, a movement instigator and a patron for every man and women who is remarkable in a conventional world. At the cost of $100,000 he invested not only in a thousand people, he said his vision is more important than money.

  • Bettina says:

    I am still thinking of a way to really make those $100 go far, so I can’t wait to see what others are doing with it.

    I suggested to another Summiteer that he should give 10 people $10 each in India when he goes there, just to see what they do with it…and now I realize I may be going there myself!

    In a way, though, that feels like just copying Chris’ idea, so I’m still holding on to the money to see what would give me the most leverage. Frugal spending…

  • Meecho says:

    I am still mulling over how I will invest the $100. Until then I’m holding on to the $100 bill and will let you know when and how it is spent!

  • Andrea says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this video Chris! By Sunday afternoon I had to go into HSP Recovery Mode and missed the end of WDS.

    But even though I missed this, just knowing that you did it makes me very very deep-down-to-the-bottom-of-my-heart-happy. This is amazing and I can’t wait to come back to WDS next year.

  • Benny Lewis says:

    I know what I’m doing with my $100, although it’s not something I can specify a time and place for.

    Many years ago, when I was on an incredibly tight budget and ran out of money on the road and couldn’t afford a bed for the night, I met a kind man who talked to me and gave me 15 euro and simply told me to “pay it forward” some day. He said that he could see that I was a genuine guy, just in a temporary rough spot, and that his money was very well spent. He didn’t ask for anything in return or that I pay him back some day, just that I pay it forward.

    With this in mind, in my travels I meet so many interesting people and sometimes I see that someone is so close to doing something but for lack of just a little money. I’ll use either all $100, or make that a part of what I give to a complete stranger (not necessarily a beggar, but an interesting character who looks like he has great potential). It’s VERY likely my investment won’t be in dollars, but in another currency though 🙂

    It will happen when it happens, and I’ll share the story next year 😉

    Thanks again for letting me be a part of such an incredible event Chris! Was worth coming from the opposite side of the globe for 🙂

  • Kendra Kinnison says:

    My husband and I were in the middle of teaching a class called “Startup Summer” (based on the $100 Startup) at our church when we went to WDS. As soon as the gift was announced, I immediately knew that I would give it to one of our “students” so that they could use it to fund their $100 startup.

    I did that at last Tuesday’s class and shared the story of the conference with everyone. Tears flowed, and it was a very special moment for all of us.

    I felt honored to “pay it forward” on behalf of Chris and WDS, and I’m bringing my teenage daughters next year so that they can experience the WDS spirit. It has been such a blessing in my life.

  • Fab says:

    1) if I had been at WDS, I would have invested $100 in:

    Sir Richard Branson is seriously investing his time, energy and money in the renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors to solve problems like pollution and oilpeak which are in my opinion very urgent matters.

    2) I’d like very much to come next year at WDS 2013!

    Sincere congratulations for your huge success with WDS 2012.

    All the best!

    Fab, greetings from Italy.

  • Puanani says:

    I was there. I have been overwhelmed by the act of faith, to believe in the capacity of those before you. I have my $100 from WDS. It is safe and sound, waiting for the first purchase for the store front I am renting soon. I will keep you posted. Thank you, WDS. See you next year. I can’t wait to tell everyone what I did with my vote of confidence…Xoxo.

  • Kathleen @ Frugal Portland says:

    I hesitated this year, and missed my window. I’m definitely coming next year — I can’t wait!

  • Christine says:

    I LOVE this! What a marvelous idea. I am sorry I didn’t get to be there…am hoping that I can attend next year.

  • Kathryn Plett says:

    Equipping and encouraging others to get started and not be afraid is a fantastic feeling! I want to come to WDS next year, and of course it would have been nice to be there this year…. but I was on your wait list….

    I can’t wait to hear all the ripple effects of this idea and the good things that come from it.

    What a blessing you are!

  • Anne Belov says:

    I loved reading about the $100 “giveaway” you did at the WDS. Although I was not in attendance, a few months ago, I did something that started an interesting chain reaction.
    A friend of mine had a Kickstarter project to raise money to make some improvements to their farm/ goat dairy operations to bring it closer to becoming sustainable.
    Donations were flagging, so I chimed in with an unasked for “extra premium” in return for a large donation. Not only did someone step up to the plate and pledge, but one by one, other artists and farmers pledged offerings above and beyond the listed Kickstarter rewards that The Little Brown Farm was offering, till there were about 12 extra-special bonuses for donors at higher levels.
    Most of the bonuses were claimed, the farm’s project reached (and passed!) their funding goal, and a very small family farm became slightly more economically viable.

    I can’t wait to hear about the creative fallout from the WDS giveaway.
    The world truly moves in mysterious ways.

  • Chase Gordon says:

    I was there and I was blown away. You really should watch the video, it’s much better than the summary article. In fact, I’m still reverberating from the impact and trying to fully understand what it is that Chris gave us. Everyone who got the envelope was a paying attendee, which means they had invested way more than $100 in themselves just to be there. In my case my self-investment was not even rationally justifiable, it was merely a creative hunch. So $100 per se was not the impactful gift that Chris was giving people; we all had that kind of cash. I think what Chris was really giving each attendee was the gift of someone believing in them. The $100 was a token of Chris’s belief that each individual had something worth investing in. And it was a challenge to each individual to honor Chris’s trust and prove him right.

    I often let the feeling that what I’m able to do isn’t “big enough” to keep me from doing anything at all. Chris powerfully demonstrated how wrong that is. He demonstrated that doing something meaningful with clear intentions can have a great impact even if the “something” is not all that “big.” it really is the thought that counts.

    Lesson learned.

  • Julie says:

    I wanted to attend this year and totally missed out – next year I am absolutely attending! I’ve been truly inspired by all of the blog posts that I have read. 🙂

  • Catrina says:

    Awesomely inspiring, Chris!
    What I love the most is how you maintained the integrity of WDS AND walked that talk with the $100 investment. I’m so inspired, I’m going to have a ‘mini-WD’ talk with my daughter and hand her $100 for the same exact purpose in the spirit of community, adventure and service. Anyone reading this who’s a parent can do the same thing ~ we can emulate this with close friends as well ~ there’s no stopping the catalyst of non-conformity!

    Although I wasn’t able to attend this year’s conference, I’m IN for next year, 2013.

  • Tim says:

    I hope you keep us updated on what everyone does with their $100. What an amazing gift to the world.

  • Kira says:

    Not only is this inspiring, I can’t wait to see the wave of other “acts of awesome” that will follow it. I can’t wait to go in 2013!

  • Tim says:

    Great video!

    I think it would be great to have Tony Hseich from Zappos or Richard Branson for the 2013 WDS. Just a thought

  • Stefania says:

    Oh, I am so glad to see this. Good luck everyone 😉
    I wasn’t there, but tomorrow I will start my $100 Investment (really it will be in euros or English pounds :P)

    I have spent too much time talk about my ideas, and now I feel it’s time to start, from small to big… who knows?

    Take Action!

  • Emily Moore says:

    The $100 Giveaway was an electric surprise…my body was completely tense during the entire introduction. I knew Chris was about to do something big, and somehow, I knew I was involved. When it dawned on me what he was about to do, I was so excited, so wanting the opportunity to do something special and be a part of this experience with all the other WDSers. And then I got the $100 bill, and a huge weight dropped on my shoulders. I opened the envelope on the bus back to my room, and haven’t looked since. I need a little space to relax about it, and then the right idea will come. Thanks Chris, I look forward to the opportunity to trust myself on this one.

  • Kristoffer Carter says:

    Hey Chris, the video turned out really great. It’s so cool to see it HD. (I was up in the nosebleeds for this, but it was still great).

    I invested mine in charity: water to kick-off my “Krissy’s giving up his damn birthday” fundraiser.

    With 100% of donations going toward the cause, I couldn’t resist. Scott was such a phenomenal person and presenter… Something really POWERFUL must’ve happened aboard that ship, because you 2 gents are from ANOTHER PLANET. The Planet BADASS.

    Seriously, so humbling to be a part of your event. It was truly special and will stick with me for a lifetime. I’ve come back broken in the ON position. Effecting positive change all over the damn place.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and the investment.

    Much love to you and your wife,


  • Ian Robinson says:

    This is some heroic stuff!

  • John Spinhirne says:

    Your blog, Sarah Kathleen Peck’s blog, and few other like minded people have changed my view point on life and how I am running my life. I am planning on being at WDS 2013 so here is hoping I can get a ticket.

    Will you keep it to 1000 attendees or open it up for more to attend?

    Keep up the great and inspiring work.

  • Cheryl says:

    Yes I want to come in 2013!!!

  • Yamile Yemoonyah says:

    The moment you announced it, I already knew what I was going to do with my $100:

    I want to start a project that helps indigenous artists from around the world support their families and communities by selling their arts and crafts online.

    Thank you for believing in and inspiring all of us!

  • Harry says:

    Wonderful, both the write up as well as the $100 challenge.

    Sorry that I could not attend the summits, busy cycling from Alaska – Patagonia and starting a new for benefit company, but I do have some idea for anybody thinking about how to use their challenge money.

    We are looking for somebody to start a charity to accept donations to replace kerosene lights by solar-powered LED lights. Every light donated (depending on amount and location it can cost less than $10 each) creates a direct 10x bigger saving for a sub-saharan family ($100/year or 25-30% of their total income…), and prevents health problems, house fires, ecological damage and promotes knowledge and increases school scores for students.

    If one or more of the donated $100 were to be used for either donating lights or setting up a charity to accept donations, then the impact would be huge (we can accept them ourselves, but they won’t be tax-deductible, as we are a ‘for benefit company’).

    Thank you.

  • Jon says:

    i watched the video and I wanted to comment that I think that you can introduce corporate sponsors without worrying that they will takeover the core project.

    All you have to do is limit where and when you advertise the corporate sponsor. It’s your program, your terms. You make it seem like you have to only advertise your sponsors on the sponsor’s terms. It’s your show, so you make it clear it’s your terms. But to outright refuse money is limiting your options. You’re not ‘selling out’ by any means by taking sponsor money. Obviously you would want sponsors that are closely aligned with what you are doing, but with money in hand, you can spend more time planning and growing the actual summit, not figuring out how to pay for everything.

    It was amazing that you were able to pull WDS off anyway, and if you can continue to pull it off with no overt sponsorship, then so be it. But this is not a practical way to run a business long term. Trying to get lucky with anonymous sponsorship may not always work.

  • Matthew says:

    haha I wish I could see the bank tellers face. Bet it was priceless!

    Great gesture and very inspiring. Good job all involved. I hope to be there in 2013. Sounds amazing x 10

  • Ngee Key says:

    What a great Video Chris. It’s such a great opportunity to meet and chat with you when you had a small tour in Singapore last year. And also it’s a regret that I didn’t make it to your summit. I really hope to grab a ticket to your 2013 WDS next year.

    I like about how you are moving the participants to make a change to the world with the $100 investment. And I have full respect for your non sponsorship of your event, just like you did with all your e-books. This is something that proves the non conformity of the world. Having been to many conferences, I can see the irritation of many sponsors and the speaker has to thank them throughout the talk. But you make the whole event possible without any sponsorship. This is something I really admire and has been your small army for almost two years. You inspiration and your strategy really aligns what I want to make a contribution to the whole world, by providing real valuable advice to people to find jobs. Many of them will discourage us from providing great stuff to people without profiteering. But I am going to follow your strategy to provide great information either free or at low investment cost to as many people as possible. Thanks

  • Jordan says:

    Wow, very amazing and inspiring to watch. Wish I could have been there!

  • Clay Myers-Bowman says:

    Touché! What a grand gesture. One I’m sure will pay off in ways too numerous to calculate and measure. I’m inspired.

  • Tanner Colton says:

    I have been thinking about this since I heard what happened right after the WDS. I was trying to think about what the impact of this awesome personal investment would be and what I would have done with my $100 had I been there (on that side note I am planning on being there next year). What I came to conclude was that this bold act of faith is what all change in our world is based on. For every monumental shift in thinking there was someone or some people who decided to take a risk, go out in faith, and to create the world they wanted to live in. I firmly believe that lasting change in our world can only be achieved by altering the very core of what makes us human: our ability to create. I know that this investment has triggered a chain reaction of creation and change that will be shown and felt as time goes on. Thanks to you Chris and the WDS team for sparking this change.

  • Lorii Abela says:

    The video was truly amazing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mara says:

    Your team did a tremendous job of going over and beyond many people’s expectations.

    The $100 investment is an amazing gift – a great leap of faith and trust to so many people.

    “Freely receive, freely give” is a testament to where your heart lies.

    May your tribe continue to increase.

  • Megan Norlin says:

    This post made me smile so much my cheeks hurt! I was very sad to find out that I discovered you too late to come to WDS this year. But I’m definately coming next year. That, sir is a promise! 🙂

  • Kristine says:

    Awesome! What a wonderful energy, wonderful group, wonderful vision…the hope of the future is your generation. The flower children of my generation are so happy to see this movement. I’ll be in Portland in August, would have loved to be there during WDS. Hope to connect with you there Chris.

  • Jim says:

    I always thought there was another way to do something not only better, but more meaningful as well. As I become more familiar with your philosophy about non-conformity, it hits me like a brick. It totally makes sense. Please continue doing what you’re doing. I am going to the WDS in 2013.
    I am also impressed with your decision to leave out the corporate sponsorship angle. That just confirms my belief that things can be done differently.
    Thanks for the inspiration to soldier on.

  • Mike Jutan says:

    OMG YES. Sign me up for next year 🙂 (Actually, already added myself to the waiting list). I am more-than-slightly appalled at myself that I wasn’t following your blog closely enough to learn about WDS until NOW… 2 years after you launched it?! This is amazing, and it feels like a very similar spark to the OSSSA (high school student council-y leadership conference group I was a part of back in Canada where I grew up). This looks amazing.

    Hope to see y’all at the conference next year 🙂

  • Clark Haass says:

    WDS touched me profoundly with its clarion call to Service. My goal is to use the $100 as a seed to raise 10X in donations towards graphing calculators for underprivileged kids in middle and high schools. Who knows…it may result in a new charity organization!

  • Adam Kornfield says:

    Chris- A bold act. I’m impressed. I realize this is a major sum and glad you did it.

    Take a trip and try something new. You never know what will happen. Congrats on the event.


  • Dana Leavy-Detrick says:

    Such an interesting idea. Reminds me of an article I read this morning in the Harvard Business Journal about how so many small businesses are trending toward aiming to remain small versus be the next ‘big’ thing. It’s interesting to look at the contrast of investing $100 in 1000 small ideas with great potential (and by small, I certainly don’t mean insignificant), versus $100K in one big idea. Look forward to hearing some exciting success stories!

  • Julie Wise says:

    Brilliant, as always, Chris. It reminds me of an idea I had a few years ago (but didn’t follow through on). I wanted to set up a foundation so that I could encourage people to pursue their dreams. I planned for a mentorship program followed by providing $100,000 investment in each person’s dream. It hasn’t happened (yet), but I did write a blog about your idea and challenged my readers to consider what they’d do to change the world. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Susan Sanders says:

    Chris, will there be any video available on the other speakers? For those of us who couldn’t make the conference, we’d love the chance to hear all of the talks. Congratulations on a wildly successful event!

  • Danny says:


    Can’t wait to see what people come up with… I hope some of them work together. 🙂

  • Paul says:

    Great Event Chris

  • Sheila Lawrence says:

    I watched the video and it was awesome! The best thing is that you have created a community. We’ve gotten too far away from community, at least in America, and I think it’s going to be our salvation in the future. Besides, it’s no fun being successful unless you can also cheer other peoples’ successes! Good job, Chris (and company)!

  • Jenna says:

    Hey Chris – I know I’m a little late the the party on this blog post (and I didn’t get $100 since I was an Ambassador) but I did write about what I’m doing this year as an act of community, adventure and service here: Thought you might enjoy it.

Your comments are welcome! Please be nice and use your real name.

If you have a website, include it in the website field (not in the text of the comment).

Want to see your photo in the comments? Visit to get one.