By Michelle Talsma Everson
A One Of A Kind Organization
Earlier this year, Mick Ebeling, founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs, gave a moving speech at the 2019 Waste Management Sustainability Forum. This inspirational talk got our attention and we wanted to learn more about the one-of-a-kind organization.
According to Not Impossible Labs, the company is founded on the principle of Technology for the Sake of Humanity. “Not Impossible Labs LLC is a one-of-a-kind, award-winning technology incubator and content studio dedicated to changing the world through technology and story,” cites its official website, www.notimpossible.com.
Not Impossible Labs notes that its current initiatives include:
- “Music: Not Impossible” which provides wearables that give the deaf community access to the music experience;
- “Vaccine: Not Impossible” which helps to overcome obstacles that prevent those in remote locales from receiving vaccines; and
- “Absurdity Projects” that “crowd-solves issues of inability and inaccessibility looking to provide low-cost solutions that allow the most vulnerable among us to survive and thrive.”
Adam Dole, executive director of Not Impossible Labs, recently talked with us and shared some insight and recent news about the organization.
Green Living: For those who have never heard of Not Impossible Labs, how would you describe your work in a nutshell?
Adam Dole: Not Impossible Labs is a technology incubator based in Venice Beach, Calif., dedicated to changing the world through technology and story. We’re a team of passionate change makers that leverage our unique skill sets, backgrounds and experience as designers, engineers, hackers/makers, storytellers and business builders to address basic human needs that we call ‘absurdities.’ We are a good home for creative problem solvers with a sense of urgency to improve people’s lives now. For us, humanitarian absurdities are things that we look at in the world and say, ‘that’s just wrong…it shouldn’t be that way, and we need to do something about it.’
Examples of solutions to absurdities we’ve tackled include a 3D printer lab to create prosthetic limbs for victims in the war-torn regions of Sudan; a device [EyeWriter] that allows patients with severe neurologic impairment [e.g. ALS, locked-in syndrome] to communicate using only their eyes; and a text messaging platform that connects those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from to healthy meals prepared by local restaurants.
At Not Impossible Labs we live by the mantra, ‘commit first, and then figure it out.’ Once we commit, we identify an individual whose life embodies the humanitarian need we are determined to tackle. We call this person our ‘one,’ who becomes a source of inspiration and remains at the center of everything we do. Importantly, our solution for one must be scalable to address the global humanitarian need. By telling the story of ‘one’ and how our solution changed their life, we gain the momentum and traction needed to make the solution accessible to everyone who would benefit. Help one, help many.
GL: What role does the Not Impossible Foundation play in your overall work?
Dole: The purpose of the Not Impossible Foundation is to provide individuals and organizations with a way to support our humanitarian mission through charitable donations that are used to fund one of our social enterprise initiatives. One of our core design principles at Not Impossible Labs is that our solutions are widely accessible to all those who would benefit. Accessibility for us means scaling our solutions for broad humanitarian impact by creating new businesses and investing in private and public sector partnerships and joint ventures. For some solutions, an open-source social enterprise will be the best option to help as many people as possible. The Not Impossible Foundation enables us to fund such initiatives.
Not Impossible Awards
GL: What is the importance of the Not Impossible Awards, taking place on June 1?
Dole: We encounter humanitarian absurdities every day, and every day they go unrecognized and people continue to suffer. As part of our mission, we encourage others to join us in identifying and addressing these humanitarian needs. The Not Impossible Awards is our way of recognizing and celebrating others in the community who are applying technology for the sake of humanity. At this year’s award ceremony we will be sharing the stories of five mission-driven startups who are doing their part to make the impossible, not impossible. The Not Impossible Awards ceremony is open to the public, so please join us [if you are] in Los Angeles on June 1 at 8 p.m. for an evening filled with inspiring speakers and musicians, and we will showcase our documentaries featuring this year’s award winners.
GL: How can our readers get involved in Not Impossible Labs?
Dole: There are three ways that people can get involved right now. The first is to sign up for our mailing list to receive updates about the latest absurdities that we’re tackling and how to get involved, as well as invites to special events. Secondly, you may follow us online through our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And lastly, if you plan to be in Los Angeles on June 1, reserve your tickets to join us for the Not Impossible Awards ceremony at the Ace Hotel Theater in downtown Los Angeles at 8 p.m.
To learn more about Not Impossible Labs, visit www.notimpossible.com.
Michelle Talsma Everson is a freelance writer, editor, public relations consultant and mom based in Phoenix. With degrees in both journalism and public relations from Northern Arizona University, she writes for several Valley publications. Find out more at www.mteverson.com.
Photo Courtesy of Not Impossible Labs