The World Domination Summit is a gathering of 2,500 people from 30 countries, dedicated to living a remarkable life in a conventional world. I was the oldest one there.
I have no proof of being the oldest. But a casual scan of the crowd produced nobody older. Except for one of the speakers who confessed to being a grandparent and stood out from the others, a sport jacket in a room of wear-your-message T shirts and untucked button ups.
The World Domination Summit is the creation of Chris Guillebeau. Chris is a writer, traveller, community leader. I’ve been following his blog since reading his manifesto 279 Days to Overnight Success back in 2009. I was fresh back from a few months in Europe on sabbatical. Wondering about how to keep the adventure alive, and the possibilities for location independent business. Chris was blogging his quest to visit every country in the world by his 35th birthday.
I was inspired by his adventures. Even more by the man himself and the way he was creating a profitable business online. 279 Days to Overnight Success laid out the process whereby he went from zero followers to making a living in just under a year. From the beginning, Chris’ business strategy was based on gathering a small army of like minded people, and serving them with integrity. In 2011 he gathered his small army for the first annual World Domination Summit.
I wonder if he regrets his early metaphor. A small army bent on World Domination. In every case when I told someone where I was going, they bent over in laughter or practically busted a gut trying not to. When I heard the name I thought it could only have come from someone young and male. The kind of person who is drawn to heroic quests (There is a Guinness World Record broken at each summit. This year for the longest human yoga chain, the challenge was called The Great Namaste.) In truth his message is not really domination, but liberation.
Despite the generation gap there is no doubt that this is my tribe. Artists, entrepreneurs and social activists. Adventurers, freelancers and would be world changers. Holding the tension of individuality and community, freedom and belonging, service and self expression.
I would also say it is the most thoughtful, engaging and well organized conference I’ve ever attended, in all my extended life span. We were high-fived into every session. The topics covered genetics and genealogy, online business and simple green smoothies, cartooning and social media, the typography of African languages, the power of silence and walking, tiny houses, the difference between making bread and serving it. The speakers were world class experts, up and coming phenomenons – and people plucked right out of the audience to tell their stories. There was music and dancing, food trucks and buskers, and a hot air balloon. The swag was top class and made in Portland. The integration of the live and social media conversations masterful.
If you want to shake off your assumptions about life and what’s possible for you, whatever your age of situation. This is the place. I hope to see you there next year. I’ll be the one hosting the over 50s meet up.
Three morals in this story:
1. If you stay true to your path, you will eventually become an elder in your tribe.
2. Age is not a barrier to living a remarkable life in this conventional world.
3. But there must be some misinformation out there, or I would not be the oldest woman standing at the World Domination Summit.
yours with creativity and imagination,