Last weekend I was in Portland, Oregon at the World Domination Summit.
No, this was not a conference for evil masterminds who want to rule the world.
It was a weekend convergence of 1000 people from all over the world who want to live unconventionally, follow their passions, and make a meaningful difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
The World Domination Summit is the brainchild of Chris Guillebeau — world traveler, best-selling author, philanthropist, and founder of the blog The Art of Non-Conformity (and book by the same name). He created the Empire Building Kit, an amazing course on creating your own lifestyle business, and just released the book The $100 Startup.
Chris is the real deal — a gentleman, a person of integrity, someone who is actively changing the world in his own self-effacing but unconventional way.
During the conference, we heard from several amazing keynote speakers including Dr. Brene Brown, who spoke on courage and vulnerability. Her TED speech will give you an idea of the power of her presentation.
We also heard from J. D. Roth, the founder of Get Rich Slowly; Susan Cain, the author of the new bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking; and mega-blogger Chris Brogan among others.
The most compelling keynote address was from Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity Water, a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Scott's personal story of how he transformed himself and created a wildly successful non-profit helping 800 million people have access to clean water, is moving and inspirational.
These are just a sampling of the many presentations, workshops, and events that were a part of this unforgettable and transformational weekend.
But the most amazing happening during the event occurred during the last 10 minutes of the entire Summit.
Chris Guillebeau was winding up the conference in a final talk. He was summing up the powerful work not only of the presenters and speakers, but also of all of the Summit attendees. He mentioned that one attendee from the 2010 Summit was so impressed with the event that he/she made an anonymous donation of $100,000 to the event.
That alone made the audience gasp.
But then Chris knocked our socks off.
He said as he was brainstorming the best use for this money, he had a realization. There were 1000 people attending the event. That $100,000 could provide $100 for every person at the event. What better use for this money than to put it into the hands of 1000 change-makers.
So here's what he did.
He handed every single attendee an envelope which contained a crisp $100 bill and a note which reads:
The $100 Investment
Thanks for making #WDS2012 a fantastic experience. We'd love to see how you can put these funds to good use. Start a project, surprise someone, or do something entirely different — it's up to you.
So now I am charged with making something of this $100 gift. And when the envelope was handed to me, my first thought was of all of you. You are the people who have transformed me, helped me to live my passion, and hopefully make a difference in the world.
So now I'm turning to you. This is our $100 to use for something good.
- How can we make it grow?
- Where should we use the money?
- How can the over 11,000 of us (+ thousands of other non-subscribed readers) work together to really make a substantial difference?
Please, please share your ideas in the comments below.
I will outline your ideas in a future post, and we will decide together how to turn this $100 bill into a powerful force to make a difference in the world!