July 11-13, 2014Jump to Detailed Schedule

We're taking over Portland, Oregon the second weekend of July, just as the rain is leaving and our four weeks of annual good weather begin. Our plan of action is: have fun and create meaningful adventure.

Main Schedule
Friday, 7-10pm "Can't Wait" Welcoming Party
Saturday, 9am-10pm Main stage, workshops, fun
Sunday, 9am-10pm Main stage, workshops, fun

We'll all arrive in the city for a welcoming party on Friday evening, July 11th. The main event kicks off in the beautiful Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Saturday morning. Throughout both weekend days, we'll alternate between the main stage for speaker talks, nearby alternate spaces for smaller-group workshops, and several smaller spaces for impromptu meetups and coffee refills.

The evenings will find us set loose on the town, attending your choice of Portland group events ranging from self-guided brewpub tours to blogger meetups to Rock Band contests to DIY craft store visits.

We'll conclude on Sunday evening in time for red-eye flights to the East Coast, or you can head out on another group event or stay for a closing party that goes as long as people are around. If you never need to sleep, afterparties and early-morning parties are scheduled for each day.

A complete schedule of 2014 speakers, workshops, and community events will be available closer to the event. For now, a selection of our 2013 guests is listed below.

newmark theatre, portland

Amazing People with Big Plans

We'll spend about a third of our time together in the main theatre, a third in small groups, and a third out and about around the city.

Featured Speakers (#WDS2013)

Among other surprises, our 2013 lineup included a guest appearance from Superman.

  • Gretchen Rubin

    Gretchen Rubin taught us how to be happy... even if you don't like to sing in the morning, read Aristotle, or clean your closet.

  • Don Miller

    Don Miller showed us why the best stories don't always end with "happily ever after."

  • Nancy Duarte

    Nancy Duarte is a specialist in persuasion and magic. She explained how stories can change the world.

  • Tess Vigeland

    Tess Vigeland, a veteran journalist from NPR's Marketplace Money, wowed us with a talk on giving up a sure thing for the chance to pursue a dream.

  • Jia Jiang

    To overcome his fear of pain and rejection, Jia Jiang started a 100-day "rejection therapy" project. He showed us how to try new things with confidence.

  • Darren Rowse

    Darren Rowse the original Problogger, arrived from Australia with his team of Aussie empire builders. He also challenged us to lead an unconventional life.

  • Chase Jarvis

    Chase Jarvis encouraged the audience with a new message on creativity in business and life.

  • Bob Moore

    Bob Moore created Bob's Red Mill and shared his story on putting people before profit.

  • Steve Schalchlin

    Steve Schalchlin let us in on what it's like to be living life in the "bonus round."

  • Andrew Warner

    Entrepreneurial expert Andrew Warner shared a personal story of failure and growth—along with an on-stage mediation session.

Returning Guests

These featured speakers from previous years returned to lead workshops or otherwise participate
in WDS 2013 events.

  • Jonathan Fields

    Renegade Jonathan Fields unveiled his greatest work ever (even better than the first two years). Shock and awe!

  • pam slim

    Pamela Slim returned to demonstrate martial arts and cubicle escape to adventurous attendees. For two years and counting, her workshops were standing-room only... eager attendees have learned to get there early.

  • DJ Prashant

    DJ Prashant swung into town with a Bollywood performance and dance lesson... this time in the middle of downtown Portland.

  • Danielle LaPorte

    Danielle LaPorte conducted a one-hour open Q&A for all aspiring Firestarters. Emergency response teams were standing by.

  • Chris Brogan

    Chris Brogan and Jacqueline Carly returned for an encore presentation... this time a musical presentation.

  • Jodi Ettenberg

    Nomad Jodi Ettenberg returned for a third year. This time she shared how to create passionate communities by sharing stories, providing value, and clinging to integrity.

  • David Fugate

    Literary agent David Fugate helped to demystify the publishing industry, explaining how to write a strong proposal, and how to balance self-publishing with traditional publishing.

  • Chris Guillebeau

    And Chris Guillebeau will host the group, right after he's finished visiting every country in the world.

Alumni Speakers

In previous years, we heard from these speakers. They won't be in town this time but are part of our
extended family.

  • brene brown

    Brene Brown spoke on happiness through imperfection, complete with a free lesson in Texas line-dancing.

  • Scott Harrison

    Scott Harrison told his story of nightclub promoter to founder of Charity:Water. Bring your own Land Rover!

  • JD Roth

    J.D. Roth talked about building Get Rich Slowly and his year of change.

  • susan cain

    Susan Cain prefers listening to speaking, but for WDS she joined Jonathan Fields for a main-stage conversation on the power of introverts.

  • Scott Belsky

    Scott Belsky shared how ideas are just the beginning: making them happen is what it's all about.

  • Karen Walrond

    Karen Walrond discussed life, photography, and her award-winning book, The Beauty of Different.

  • Andrea Scher

    Andrea Scher hand-wrote personal cards for all 500 attendees our inaugural year.

  • Cal Newport

    Cal Newport (MIT Ph.D. and author of several books) taught attendees how to do everything... except use Twitter.

Main Stage

karen wolrond on the main stage

We'll begin each morning in the Schnitzer Theatre, a beautiful auditorium where no seat is further than 60 feet from the stage. Speakers will share a short message that combines personal stories with practical ideas.

jonathan fields leads a break out session at WDS 2011

During breaks, you can visit the Hang-Out Hammock Lounge for a quick snooze—or just catch up with a new friend over a cup of coffee.

Most presentations will devote at least 25% of the time to audience Q&A. Most speakers will also be available in smaller workshop sessions to spend even more time with informal conversation.


After we end in the main theatre each day, we'll head to breakout rooms of smaller groups for specific topics. You can choose from topics such as these:

  • Travel Hacking Anywhere in the World
  • How to Get a Book Deal
  • $100 Startup Entrepreneurship Group
  • How to Work Overseas
  • Yoga on the Lawn
  • Become a Better Photographer in 60 Minutes

Note: Workshops are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We'll also have yoga in the park (everyone's welcome) and other activities which are available to all attendees.

Portland bicycle tour Photos: Patricia Pentecost, and zenlight, bibendum84, and Ian Sane on Flickr.

Everything Else

  • Blogger Meetups

    Both days, we'll set aside time for bloggers to host informal meetups. You can go from the Get Rich Slowly meetup to the Location Independent meetup—and then over to the Minimalist group, where a fight will likely break out over who owns the fewest things.

    And if you have your own blog, you can host a meetup too. (An e-bulletin board will tell attendees where each meetup is being held.)

  • Mass Book Signing

    On Sunday night—before we all head to the afterparty—we've set aside a space for our speakers to sign books and meet readers. Print books will be available for sale, and if you're digital-only, you can just stop by to say hi to your favorite author.

  • See the City

    Head out to see the town on your choice of self-guided walking tours in cooperation with other attendees. Tours will begin on Thursday night (prior to the official opening) and continue through the following Monday.