World Domination! It’s not what you think…or is it?

photo coutesy Armosa Studios


Having spent last weekend at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit, I have no choice but to write about it this weekend. If you were there you know why; if not I will try to explain.

When I told people I was going to Portland to attend something called the World Domination Summit I got a lot of raised eyebrows. If you are not familiar with Chris’s work the language can be off putting. He talks about armies, empires and world domination, which bring to mind perhaps tyrannical invasions like that of Ghengis Khan, but in true non-conformist fashion Chris has different intentions for these words.

An army is a small tribe of like minded people wanting to make positive change in the world.

An empire is whatever domain you choose to gather your tribe. And domination, as it turns out, involves an awful lot of LOVE and HUGS.

The World Domination Summit, in addition to being a “heart attack of awesome,” was, in Chris’s words:

“a gathering of awesome people working on remarkable things, all learning from one another. ”

Oh yes it was and so much more. I am going to share with you a few of my favorite post-WDS posts and quotes and then ask you a world changing question.

Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind has this to say:

Personal responsibility and control of your own life is the doorway to service to and “domination” of the world. If you don’t get the first part, it’s going to be hard for you to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Oh so true, Jonathan. So often we forget that change and service begin at home. If we can’t walk the walk there is not much point in the talk. Positive change-making requires dedication and hard work, not just desire.

Writer Shanna Trenholm wrote this on her blog:

Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity, was a convening of more than 500 nonconformists, entrepreneurs, bloggers, creatives, visionaries, and other cool folks. And, although I did not have the opportunity to commune with all 500+ fab and friendly souls, those with whom I did renewed my faith in humankind. Yes, a big statement, I know, but the love, kindness, and friendliness of the WDSers was unparalleled by any other goers of conference-type thingies that I have attended.

There are so many things one could say about WDS, but restoring faith in humanity is right up there as number one for me. I have never before been in a crowd that large where everyone was genuinely present, engaged, and open to sharing. It was like a love fest of positive change-makers.

Briggite Lyons of Unfettered Ink, whom I had the pleasure of hugging numerous times, wrote a love letter to WDS where she shared this:

When asked about the common thread binding all of us involved in the World Domination Summit, Chris had an elegant, simple response.


I went in pro-change, riding the high of leaving behind my career for self-employment. Excited to leave the city I loved for the adventure of discovering a new one.

I came out changed.

Yes, Brigitte, and so did I and I think many others. Our own Tara Gentile was ablaze with energy and I am positive will be a speaker at next year’s WDS (attention: Chris). I’m up in 2013. Tara wrote this:

I just came back from the World Domination Summit, a 2-day party with 500 of my closest friends.

Looking around the ballroom, everyone gathered & buzzing with excitement (and coffee, it is the Northwest after all!), it was clear to me that there were only 2 types of people in this room:

  1. Leaders
  2. And those on the cusp of becoming leaders.
photo courtesy Armosa Sudios


I would not have thought of that on my own, but Tara is absolutely right. The beauty of it is this is a new brand of leadership. A non-competitive, everyone wins kind of leadership that allows success for all. It is a powerful, powerful thing to be in the presence of that much leadership and feel totally safe and accepted.

So lastly, as another tribute to the leader of leaders, I turn my attention back to Chris Guillebeau. On Friday Chris sent an email to all the 2011 WDS attendees where he reminded us of Joanthan Field’s beautiful closing speech. He wrote this:

Today, I want to ask you one question:

One year from now, what will be different?

As Jonathan Fields mentioned in his closing keynote, WDS is only a great experience if it leads to change and personal improvement after we all disperse. Inspiration must be combined with action. One year from now, what will be different in your life?

So whether or not you attended WDS I ask you the same. We are all here to create something. Some of us are already successful, some just beginning, some don’t yet know what it is but we all want to do something meaningful.

Inspiration must be combined with action. One year from now, what will be different in your life?

If you want more of the awesome, I wrote another WDS post here.


7 thoughts on “World Domination! It’s not what you think…or is it?

  1. Gwyn, I have to say I am a little put out.

    “An army is just a small tribe of like minded people wanting to make positive change in the world…An empire is just whatever domain you choose to gather your tribe.”

    Just a small tribe? Just a domain? Just? JUST?! Lose the “just” honey and give our tribe and our domain some power!

    I kid (sort of). I wish I could have gone to this domination jamboree, but your summary has still given me a lot to chew on. One year from now I WILL be working on new goals for my business because I will have completed this year’s goals.Just changing out the “hope to” for “will” already has me more revved up for goal-tackling.

    So thanks for that. You’re just awesome.

  2. Thanks all!

    Janice you are right. I will lose the just. I was trying to kindify what can be threatening words but the just makes it too small. I know you get my point though :-)

    Go git Em!

  3. I love stumbling upon such greatness and inspiration and the feeling of THEY GET IT! WD is my kind of meet up I must find out more. Next year I will be out of debt and moving on to BIGGER and BETTER things that work synergistically with my life helping me achieve HAPPINESS for me and my family. Tribes wanted.

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