Mick Ebeling and the Not Impossible

Mick Ebeling graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in political science in 1992. He worked for FUEL, a motion design studio, and became the CEO of THEY, a cross design platform, before he started his own company and organization.

In 2001, he formed The Ebeling Group, a production company specializing in animation and visual effects. With this company Ebeling was involved in the production of films including, “Stranger than Fiction” starring Will Ferrell, “Kite Runner,” and the James Bond 007 film “Quantum of Solace.”

Ebeling has also founded the Not Impossible Foundation, a nonprofit with the intent to foster the collaboration of ideas and people “dedicated to creating low cost, DIY open-source solutions for real people with real needs.”

The Not Impossible Foundation’s first project began when Ebeling befriended Tempt One, a famous graffiti artist in Los Angeles, diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. This paralyzed his entire body, leaving Tempt to communicate only through movement of his eyes.

Ebeling brought together people from Graffiti Research Lab, Free Art and Technology Lab, and openFrameworks to construct a way for Tempt to create his art once again. And on April 10, 2009 Tempt wrote his first piece of graffiti in seven years using the EyeWriter.

Watch Ebeling explain the EyeWriter himself in this TED talk:

The EyeWriter was one of “Time Magazine”’s 50 Best Inventions in 2010. The attention garnered by the EyeWriter gave Ebeling the platform to promote the idea behind the device and the Not Impossible Foundation, that through collaboration and creativity people can accomplish seemingly impossible tasks to drastically improve the lives of others.

In regards to the creation of the EyeWriter, Ebeling is famously quoted saying, “If not now, then when? If not me, then who?”

Don’t miss Ebeling at this year’s The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, hosted by UC San Diego Extension and The Atlantic Magazine. The conference will take place on October 2 through 4 at Scripps Seaside Forum and the Qualcomm Institute (formerly known as Calit2) in La Jolla, California. For more information on registration and speakers like Ebeling, visit atlanticmeetspacific.com.

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