World Domination Summit: How I’m investing my $100 to make the world more awesome

Why would someone prone to cynicism travel to Portland, Oregon for a conference that bills itself for those trying to “live a remarkable life in a conventional world”? I registered World Domination Summit out of curiosity, but by the time I was on my way, I had begun to describe it as “hipster self-help.” Let’s just say fear and cynicism are good buddies.

This is not about me. Okay, it’s a little about me.

Since this is a travel blog, I won’t get into all the grand and granular ideas I have after World Domination Summit. While there, I wore my many hats — for Ephemerratic, LightBox Collaborative, and Green Gizmo. I met many other travel bloggers, writers, entrepreneurs, artists, and even an unconventional librarian. I got a kick in the cynicism and was informed and inspired, challenged and validated.

I was also surprised. Gobsmacked even.

In his closing remarks, World Domination Summit founder Chris Guillebeau revealed that an anonymous donor gave $100,000 to support the conference. Chris and the donor decided the best way to spend it was to give $100 to each of the 1,000 attendees, cash.

The instructions for this investment were simple:

World Domination Summit 2012 investment challenge photo

The investment challenge from World Domination Summit 2012

Wow. It’s up to me.

So here’s my idea —

It’s actually about my husband Todd

The entire time I was at the World Domination Summit I kept thinking: Todd’s art business would benefit from this advice. Todd should be meeting this person. Todd should be here.

Todd Berman brings the City of Awesome to San Francisco photo

Todd bringing the City of Awesome to San Francisco

Todd deserves to attend next year’s World Domination Summit and join its community of like-minded, creative people gathered to support and encourage each other to make unconventional choices in order to change the world.

If you know Todd, that’s him to a T(odd).

As a learning- and inspiration-based event, the World Domination Summit also has the potential to advance his artistic career in ways we can’t yet imagine. But, attending the event and schlepping his art to Portland has hard costs and his creative, entrepreneurial business model is still growing.

Today, I want to ask you to join me in investing in Todd’s artistic career and his City / World of Awesome project.

From the City to the World of Awesome

Todd is working on a crowd-sourced collaborative community art project called the City of Awesome, in which he invites people to contribute to a collective vision of their city — just more awesome. He’s been making collaborative art for many years, launched the City of Awesome in San Francisco last year, and has just brought it to Portland.

Portlanders contributing their self portrait to the City of Awesome photo

Portlanders contributing their self portrait to the City of Awesome

While I attended the World Domination Summit, Todd explored, asking people to draw a self-portrait (no talent needed, stick figures okay) of themselves making Portland more awesome.

He has already engaged 85 residents and visitors to Portland, including 26 World Domination Summit attendees, to be more creative and to share a vision to change the world.

That’s the World of Awesome.

Your  help  investment is needed

For Todd to learn from other creative entrepreneurs and bring the World of Awesome collaborative art project to the 2013 World Domination Summit, we estimate it will cost about $2,500, not including his time.

I am using my World Domination Summit $100 bill to invest in him. I’m Todd’s first investor.

Join me by investing in Todd. Your investment will allow him to develop a business model to advance the creativity he catalyzes through his collaborative artistic process. Together, we can crowd-source the funding for Todd’s crowd-sourced art approach.

Or, if you’d prefer, invest $50 and get one friend to invest. (Of course, if you know more than one person who’d be keen, spread the word widely.)

Our goal: raise $2,500 by September 12, 2012, just two months from now.

What’s in it for you

Some of you would support Todd simply because you know and love him. Some of you have participated in one of Todd’s other collaborative art projects or collect his art, and want him to explore ways of creating even more. And some of you are complete strangers that like to support passionate, entrepreneurial community artists and their ambitious art projects.

To you all, here’s what Todd wants to give to you for investing in his artistic and professional development:

  • Love and appreciation, which Todd plans on showing in surprising ways
  • Behind-the-scenes of the making of the 2012 World of Awesome painting, currently in progress
  • 20% discount on any one of the paintings for sale on The Art Don’t Stop
  • High-resolution digital files of the two 2012 paintings and next year’s World of Awesome painting, ready for printing
  • And if we reach our $2,500 goal — one investor will be picked at random and gifted the 2012 World of Awesome painting on September 13October 31, 2012 (extended because we found out we have to move, oy!)

Thank you

Asking for your investment was not a decision Todd and I took lightly. He hears a lot of ideas from me, and I from him. Some of them are crazy. After the World Domination Summit, we’ve realized: So what if they are?

Crazy ideas can lead to awesome things.

Todd and his first world domination investment photo

Todd and his first world domination investment

If you’re not ready to invest, sign up for our newsletter to keep track of Todd’s work to make the world more awesome and to learn about our creative travels.