CM 006: Mick Ebeling on How to Achieve the Impossible

Twitter - CM Logo and Mick EbelingMick Ebeling is the Founder of Not Impossible Labs, an online crowdsourcing platform that dramatically improves the lives of millions by creating low-cost, open-source, and do-it-yourself devices. For example, through a combination of marking and hacking, Not Impossible Labs developed 150-dollar devices that helped people with ALS communicate with loved ones for the first time in years, as well as prosthetic limbs for Sudanese children for as low as 50 dollars.

The philosophy of Not Impossible Labs is to help one to help many, that is, to create a life-changing solution for one person, and then think about how to scale it. He describes these innovations in the bestselling book Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Could Not Be Done.

Mick was deemed one of the Top 50 Most Creative People in 2014 by Advertising Age. He was also the recipient of the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award. In this interview, he shares the circumstances that launched Not Impossible Labs and that led to his book. He talks about the people whose problems he committed to solve and the hacking, making and do-it-yourself approaches he and his fellow innovators used to do just that.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • how to commit first to achieve the impossible
  • how a 150-dollar EyeWriter helped a renowned artist with ALS draw again
  • how 3D printers revolutionized life for Sudanese youth
  • the importance of making and hacking for solving real-world problems
  • how to empower young people to embrace a Not Impossible mindset
  • how seeking solutions helps us make creative connections

Mick also shares several of the new projects his organization has underway, and he talks about ways Not Impossible Labs is bridging the gap between makers and problem solvers.

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Links to Topics Discussed

Mick Ebeling TED Talk

Street Art

Tony Tempt One Quan

Tempt One Foundation

Stephen Hawking

Time Magazine Top 25 Inventions



Optical character technology



Open source

The BrainWriter

Cameron Rodriguez

ALS or Lou Gehrig Disease


Consumer EEG Devices

Project Daniel

Dr. Tom Catena



Richard Van As

Gait Trainer

Thank you to Clark Nowlin for his sound engineering and to  Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for creating the Curious Minds logo!