Episode 120 |

Get Inspired to Solve Impossible Problems with Mick Ebeling


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This Week’s Guest:

Each and every one of us has the ability to change the world for the better, but so few of us realize our true potential. Imagine if you could help a paralyzed artist paint again, or give arms to a boy whose own limbs were blown off by a bomb, or help a deaf woman hear through sensations on her skin, or even allow a man stricken with ALS to tell his wife that he loves her out loud for the first time in over a decade. All of these may sound unrealistic or even impossible, but Mick Ebeling would disagree.


Mick is the founder of the aptly named Not Impossible, an award-winning social innovation lab and production company that believes that nothing is impossible. His passion lies in technology for the sake of humanity, as he has demonstrated through the aforementioned examples. Mick is also a recipient of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, and the author of Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done. Tune into this episode and I promise that you, too, will be inspired and feel empowered to do the seemingly impossible.


Find Out More About Mick Here:

Mick Ebeling
Not Impossible
Mick Ebeling on LinkedIn
@MickEbeling on Twitter
notimpossible on Instagram
@notimpossiblelabs on Facebook


In This Episode:

  • [01:49] – Mick talks about how his motto of “help one to help many” unfolds for him, and describes the purpose of Not Impossible.
  • [03:18] – We learn how Mick got started helping Tempt One by creating the EyeWriter.
  • [07:21] – Stephan responds to what Mick has been saying by talking about the importance of making a commitment, even if you haven’t yet figured out exactly how you’re going to reach that goal.
  • [08:59] – What inspired Mick to open-source the technology for the EyeWriter?
  • [10:27] – Mick shares another success story from Not Impossible, this time involving a young boy who had lost both of his arms in a bombing in Sudan.
  • [14:04] – We hear about Mick’s concept of “beautiful, limitless naivete.” Stephan then talks about his experience on a board of a nonprofit that builds schools in Zambia.
  • [15:50] – How many people is Project Daniel outfitting with prosthetic arms?
  • [17:25] – Mick talks about another recent project, which is helping deaf people hear through skin sensations. He also discusses how he got started working on this particular topic.
  • [20:28] – Mick explains what the maker movement is.
  • [23:26] – Does Mick have any plans to take Build Not Impossible and its curriculum to other schools and areas?
  • [25:01] – If your kid shows an interest in maker-related topics, there are lots of ways to support her or him, Mick explains.
  • [26:21] – Another project that Mick is currently working on is Hunger: Not Impossible. He discusses how the program is designed to help people find local solutions to hunger.
  • [29:03] – Mick funds these projects by working with brands, which come on board to sponsor the projects.
  • [29:59] – Don’s Voice, another of Mick’s projects, allowed a paralyzed man to move his eyes to communicate with his family.
  • [31:52] – The technology for Don’s Voice is also open-source despite being a little more complicated than the EyeWriter.
  • [33:30] – Mick doesn’t have any degrees or diplomas, he explains, pointing out that being driven to do something is more important than degrees. Stephan then talks about the importance of desire, and the ability each of us has to make a big impact in the world.
  • [37:39] – Mick sees Not Impossible as a movement, and is passionate about reminding people that they can do amazing things.
  • [39:51] – We hear more about technology for the sake of humanity, which underpins a lot of what Mick does.
  • [42:23] – How could someone reach out if they want to learn more, help his organization, or get in touch?

Links and Resources:


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