Just a few weeks ago, you would have seen me excitedly pacing back and forth in a small team room at work. The second wave of tickets had just been released for the 2013 World Domination Summit, and I was quickly seeing the number of available tickets drop by the second. You see, I had heard about the WDS a few months ago on Chris’ (the founder) blog, and I had been instantly hooked by the mission and aspirational vision. Now that I had the opportunity to actually purchase the ticket and attend, however, I found myself going back and forth, wavering between diving in and just sitting this one out. After a quick pep talk from my colleague, Dan, and resorting to flipping a coin – amazing how that works – I ended up going for it. To all of you attending WDS in July, I’ll see you guys there!
Don’t get me wrong; my decision to attend the WDS wasn’t a complete impulse purchase. I have been thinking carefully about some principles, not resolutions, that I’d like to deeply explore this year, and my decision to attend the WDS fits these principles – freshness and deliberate travel – nicely.
If you’ve ever worked with ?WhatIf! or have read any of our books, you’ll know that freshness is not a new concept. Steve Jobs once said that creativity is all about connecting the dots, and freshness is one way to add more dots to your arsenal. It’s easy for us to get stuck in our routines, our rivers of thinking, our classic world views, so it’s incredibly important – especially within the context of innovation – to find deliberate ways to constantly discover new things and to gain new perspectives. Searching for freshness is an active act and requires a conscious choice to allow yourself to wander and to explore. I’m sure that I’ll be doing a lot of that during the World Domination Summit, and I can’t wait.
Deliberate Travel is actually quite tied to freshness; it is all about making a point to explore new places. When I was a management and strategy consultant, I had the luxury to travel all over the world for work and easily tack on additional trips. Now that I’m no longer hopping on a plane every week and living out of a suitcase, I’ve realized that I now need to make an effort to go see the world. Ha, talk about a lightbulb moment. We live in one of the most exciting and privileged times in history; it’s about time that I fully take advantage of this. In 2011, I visited South America, Asia, and Europe. In 2012, my passport gathered dust as a paperweight on my desk. We’re going to change that in 2013.
So what am I looking to get out of WDS 2013?
When I attend the WDS in July, I plan on going in with a balanced set of expectations and approaches that are both deliberate and emergent in nature. On one hand, I would love to meet experts in anthropology and community creators/curators, but I’d also love to meet the weirds – those on the fringes. You never know where you’ll find the one insight that will unlock the entire challenge for you, and I want to make sure that I’m both targeted and open. In particular, I’d love to build on my side project Anthropologists Among us.
Anthropologists Among Us
I’d love to meet anyone who has either studied anthropology or is currently working today as an anthropologist – officially or unofficially – in any capacity. I’d love to hear their stories and explore how anthropology has impacted the way they view the world. By meeting these types of people, I hope to add more content to my project, Anthropologists Among Us, and to further build and push the thinking behind it. I want to make sure that the content will be valuable and impactful, and I know that I’ll be able to explore and validate some of the key themes behind this concept with some of these folks at WDS.
Needless to say, I am incredibly excited and stoked to attend this year’s WDS, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in Portland and in the upcoming pilgrimage of the creative / curious / life hackerish / weird for a few days in July. If you’re going to be there and would like to meet up, let me know!