Even though I had a 6 hour drive home yesterday, I couldn’t put words to my recent #WDS2015 experience. For those who were not in Portland, or have not heard me try to explain WDS, it is a conference. Properly named The World Domination Summit, aiming to achieve 3 main tenets – community, service and adventure. With a quest, how to live a remarkable life in a conventional world. Still don’t understand what the conference is about? Well that is part of the mystique, I think. The feelings you have while attending are different, moment to moment, for the same person and range widely between folks.
I attended last year, just the basics of the Main Stage conference. So I had a pretty good sense of what that was about. But this year I took in the academies and the world record attempt, (success). I wanted to have the whole experience. I’m an all-in kind of gal, I guess. But not without support. Last year my dear friend and my Aunt, this year my husband. I couldn’t muster up the courage to be one of the many, many people who were attending alone. They bravely went out there and met people, something I have classically been terrible at. With the help of my wing man, I met a few people this year, maybe some which will turn into lasting connections.
The experience of being surrounding by people who are supportive, welcoming and even willing to give of themselves to help another, almost 3,000 of them, people who have nothing personally to gain by reaching out, I can only use the word AMAZING. Maybe also delightful. Inspiring. Fantastic. Wonderful. It warms my heart and soul to know that people can come together and be so…..well WDS-like.
I may not be aware of other conferences which have the same vibe, (if anyone can tell me, please do). I can’t get enough of these “good-life” experiences. I went into the weekend with a pretty empty cup. My life seems to drain it out of me. I really needed the inspiration and fulfillment which I received. But I was prepared, I arrived with several spare cups, a deep reservoir with which I can draw on for some time.
So now, come this way with me….I’ll take you on a little summary tour of what I experienced at #WDS2015.
Thursday July 9, 2015:
- Sean Ogle, the WDS Man About Town, lead an academy called – Location Rebel.
- The famous Jonathan Fields, 5 time WDS attendee and former keynote speaker, talked about “The Art of Becoming Known”.
- Dinner at Noble Rot – best meal for me, great sunset view of the city. Rooftop garden provides the vegetables to the restaurant.
Friday July 10, 2015:
- Started the morning with Worldwide waffles, a world record-breaking, mass participation of sitting in a bed, in our pjs, eating breakfast at the same time. My husband was not so comfortable walking through the streets of Portland in our “costume”, but this, I had no problem with. (The beds were all donated to families in need in Portland.)
- Registration – picking up the loot! OMG, so much good stuff!
- Button we got from a fellow attendee! I think she was using this as her business card.
- Opening party at Pure Space, great venue.
Saturday July 11, 2015
- Jon Acuff kicked off the main stage presentations with a super funny, high energy and charismatic talk.
- The Food Babe, Vani Hari shared her struggles with corporate America food industry giants and the “haters” alike.
- Lewis Howes talked about The Myth of Masculinity.
- Kid President, (who I had never heard of), was in the house! Brad Montague and Robbie Novak shared the story behind the YouTube persona they have created. Very genuine. I even bought the book which explains their journey in detail. I think kids like that are great.
- There was a bunch of other stuff added on the schedule that day, including Pamela Slim who spoke about knowing your 7 births.
- Over to the marina for dinner at Thirst Wine Bar.
Sunday July 12, 2015 – this was a big day, lots of emotion.
- Jeremy Cowart gave one of the most creative, inspiring and moving presentations I have ever seen. I could have excused myself and cried for a long time. He described his childhood and what he had to overcome in school which lead to his later success. It just broke my heart to hear yet another story of how the traditional education system is failing, particularly with boys. This was very close to home for me.
- Megan Devine spoke of grief, another emotional session.
- On the lighter side, Asha Dornfest gave a humorous talk about reinventing yourself in a time of uncertainty.
- Lissa Rankin spoke of the “Hero’s Journey”, something my husband related to very strongly.
- We finished up the main stage key-note speakers with Derek Sivers who asked us, “Why are you doing what you are doing?”
- We learned about the WDS “Magician” who will be moving over to The Wayfinding Academy. Taking a bold step to change post secondary educations experiences.
- The closing party – FUN.
Monday July 13, 2015
- Our final academy, hosted by Pamela Slim and Rob Young. “How to take action after WDS”. Perfect ending.
There was so much else we did in Portland, more great food we ate, happy hour at The Paramount where I tried almost every one of the 7 they had on offer, etc. Of course we left some money at Powell’s Books, couldn’t be helped. And my mind comes back to the people, so many great people. The memories built over these days are precious.