This post is so daunting for me because I KNOW there is no humanly way I can write a summary of this amazing event that will do it a shred of justice.  I just can’t.  But because I adore you, I am going to TRY.  At a minimum, I hope you will at least get exposed to a whole new treasure trove of amazing people doing big things that will get your curiosity going….because curiosity is where all magic starts!

Ok, so WDS (World Domination Summit) is an incredible conference that happens every summer in Portland, where we try REALLY hard to keep it weird, learn, have fun, get inspired, and maybe do other weird things that you would never really imagine.

Some of my favorite, more obscure moments from this year (in no particular order):

  • Christmas in July closing party theme with SNOW, and strange christmas tree decorations in the social area

  • Riding the astrology bus to the opening party

  • Swanky WDS design playing cards in the swag pack

  • A surprise bottle of wine in our room to celebrate Ryan and I getting married this year (for those that don’t know, we met at WDS!)

  • The return of the WDS tattoo parlor with, YES, real tattoos (no, I didn’t partake.  I still think it’s cool and definitely unique!)

  • A VR experience with (Charity: Water)

I posted at the beginning of the trip because of the excitement I was feeling given SO many amazing things have happened at WDS.  Not just because of the conference, but actually AT the conference.

Two years ago, the entire plan for how to transition out of my corporate career of 15 years was laid out in front of me.  Last year, I met my partner, best friend, and now husband.  These are not just small things, friends!

I could feel the momentum as we got ready to leave San Diego of something big about to happen, and I can honestly say this year did not disappoint. In the days coming up to WDS, everything fell into place, in a way I can’t even describe, for this website and blog to get published.  We went live about 8 hours before the opening party, and you’re literally reading it now!

For those that are wondering what actually takes place during this magical event, it is basically part fun and quirkiness, part practical learning (especially the academies), and part eye-opening inspiration.  It is a jam packed week of activities that range from the main stage to a mystery bus – and everything in between.

Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from this year.  I hope they will pay forward the incredible contribution this conference has on my life, and then transfer some of that joy to yours:

  • Diversity matters, and when you’re faced with a situation where you don’t achieve it organically – you can use other options.  Chris gifted several hundred tickets to local non-profits in Portland because WDS is committed to diversity in the door.  When we were later asked to step up for those that are underserved, it was from a place of strength because WDS had already taken aligned action.

  • When the catering company tries to stiff arm you, get creative!  And by creative, you can choose not to have them cater, and instead have the morning break be provided by incredible drag queens and street entertainers!

  • Agapi Stassinoppolis on waking up to the joy of being you.  Friends, if you haven’t had the JOY of listening to Agapi, find something. (Here’s a good one from her talk at Google.

  • Ryan Berg blew me away with his attendee meetup on music creation!! We played songs together – a la Jimmy Fallon with Toy instruments, and at the end we wrote an Original song!  You can watch here.

  • Charles Hunt taught us about Resilience, and the fact that we can overcome even the most dire circumstances.  PLEASE watch his TED talk – it’s incredible.  We are all walking around with trauma.

  • Scott Harrison from Charity:Water “Do not be afraid of work that has no end” – Avot de Rabbi Natan. We are meant to take on the big mission.  Do not fear the challenges ahead of us.  Stay steadfast and when we solve one problem, we will find the next and the next and the next – together.

Every year I’m blown away by the incredible community and movement this conference has created.  You can consider yourself initiated to the party now, and if you’d like to see more you can follow WDS by going to @wds.official on Insta or Facebook.  I’d love to answer any questions you have and hear from you how you plan to dominate this year!  After all, the conference is just a party.  What really matters is the action we take.