Words of Wisdom from World Domination Summit - Intentional Travelers

17 Jul Words of Wisdom from World Domination Summit

All photos in this post are by Armosa Studios

This was our second year participating in the World Domination Summit. If you’re not familiar, it’s an annual event in downtown Portland that brings together entrepreneurs, creatives, and world-changers who are pursuing a “remarkable life in a conventional world” and who value Community, Adventure, and Service. The weekend consists of inspiring main stage speakers, attendee-led meet-ups (topics that range from travel hacking to education reform), optional workshops for special interests, and random adventures (like breaking a world record together).

I learned about the event through Chris Guillebeau’s blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, while we were serving in the Peace Corps and it was a goal of mine to take part as soon as we were back in Portland. Last year, we attended as volunteer Ambassadors. This year, we were honored to take part on the planning team.

The best part of World Domination Summit (WDS) is the amazing community of people. It’s nice to be surrounded by folks who understand and value veering away from “the path of least resistance.” At WDS, we don’t have to explain our freelance work online or the fact that we’re nomadic. So that’s nice. The main stage speakers are also great and though we didn’t hear everything that was said on stage, I do have a few favorite moments to share.ambassadors-wds

WDS 2015 Speaker Notes

John Acuff

The World Domination Summit main stage kicked off with an entertaining talk by John Acuff that was full of little nuggets of wisdom. These stood out to me the most:

  • Regret has a much longer shelf-life than fear.
  • Busy-ness isn’t good for our personal development. If you stay in motion, you don’t have to face the things that make you emotional.
  • If you’re having a hard time finding your voice (the ability to express your true self), feed it some time.


Brad and Kid President

Robby (a.k.a. Kid President) and his brother-in-law Brad were popular guests on the WDS stage this year. They shared the story of how they got started making Kid President videos and spread the infectious spirit of their “joyful rebellion.”

  • Treat everybody like it’s their birthday.
  • Ordinary things can become extraordinary when they’re used with love.
  • Give the world a reason to dance.


Megan Devine

Megan’s talk was powerful because it brought vulnerability into the room. She shared the pain of losing her husband and how we should interact with grief.

  • Conversations about grief are really conversations about love.
  • You can’t fix pain by trying to take it away.
  • When others are grieving, just bear witness. Pause. What response is called for? Don’t fix. Stay present and make space for it to suck.


Jeremy Cowart

Jeremy’s presentation was a digital masterpiece. He used mixed digital media and hand wrote his story of overcoming his “low aptitude” with art. Most inspiring were his photography projects giving voice to survivors of the Haiti earthquake, child soldiers in Uganda, and Rwandan genocide victims reconciling with their former enemies.

  • Love is a weapon that kills all evil.
  • What have you been too afraid to try?


Lissa Rankin

Lissa shared the insight into our true calling – something that probably started coming to surface in our lives before age 10, something that bothers us about the world.

  • The heart will always lead you home.
  • Uncertainty is the gateway to possibility.
  • In difficult times, we can either break down or we break open.


Derek Sivers

Derek shared the story of his “accidental” success and key take-aways for growing a stand out business.

  • Avoid “deathbed regret.” Don’t pursue something because it’s what you should want.
  • A successful business stays committed to solving a problem, not to sticking with the original plan. No plan survives first contact with the customer.
  • If it’s not a hit, switch to something else. If people aren’t loving what you’re doing, stop. Persistently improve and invent, don’t persistently push what’s not working.
  • Be so remarkable that people tell their friends.



Among the pre- and post-WDS workshops I heard were: Kari Chapin’s “Journaling for an Enhanced Life”, David Fugate and Jane Friedman’s “How to Get Your Book Published,” and Sean Ogle’s “How to Become a Location Rebel.”

  • You can take the path of least resistance or you can take the path of freedom.
  • Develop online skills for freelancing that will allow you to quit your job and sustain a location independent lifestyle while you work on a passion business.
  • Take up the practice of journaling your Ideal Day. What things do you want to do every day that allow you to be your best self?


Wayfinding Academy

The WDS crowd also heard from a long-time member of the event’s planning team, Michelle Jones (a.k.a. The Magician). Michelle told the inspiring story of leaving her position as professor at Concordia University in order to pursue her life’s work: creating a new kind of college. Michelle’s is leading the charge to start an affordable, non-profit college in Portland that will focus on real world experience, community support, and individual passion. The two-year school is currently raising funds through IndieGogo to launch. Watch the video and support it here.


If you’ve never been to WDS, I encourage you to check it out. Seating capacity in the main sessions will be shrinking next year, but there will be other worthwhile ways to participate throughout the weekend outside of that. Hope to see you there!

Get our best tips and resources for transformational travel


Subscribe now to get our free Checklist for International Travel, plus other exclusive content about how to travel more, save money, and enjoy transformational experiences around the world.

Powered by ConvertKit

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: