Helping one, helping many

An inspiring keynote at Worldwide ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium showed how companies could look beyond the branding power of ‘doing good’ and make a real difference in the world. Fiona Murchie reports.

Mick Ebeling
A recipient of the Muhammmad Ali Humanitarian of the Year Award and countless other accolades for his charitable and corporate and social responsibility work, Mick Ebeling is the CEO of Not Impossible Labs, a multiple-award-winning social innovation lab and production company whose mission is to develop creative solutions to real-world problems.Probably one of the best motivation speakers I have heard, Mr Ebeling made a powerful connection with the audience at October’s Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium in Washington DC. Working with a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, he shares the important message of creating "technology for the sake of humanity", and encourages others to do the same. His book, Not Impossible: the Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t be Done, recounts the life experiences that led to the founding of Not Impossible. It describes the science of consciousness, explained simply as changing lives by doing good.The mission of Not Impossible Labs is to change the world through technology and story. It is all about the power of story – and what powerful stories Mick Ebeling has to tell.

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By focusing on one person and thinking strategically, you can help many. Mr Ebeling’s message was to commit and then figure it out. He met a street artist who had been struck down by the progressive fatal neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Determined to help, he surrounded himself with smart people he thought could, together, find a way to help, and invited scientists and programmers to join him in solving how the artist could be enabled to draw again by movement of his pupil.Thus the Eyewriter was created, the achievement went viral, and Not impossible Labs was born. As Mick Ebeling pointed out to his audience, "Name me something that is possible today that wasn’t impossible first."From there, the team continued with Project Daniel, building a prosthetics factory utilising Intel technology which won a number of humanitarian awards.Doing good is good branding and good business, Mr Ebeling explained. Organisations already know this, but there is an opportunity to scale up from self-interest and do something good for the world.The team has gone on to build up muscle memory for a child with cerebral palsy using technology from gamification and off-the-shelf automobile parts. Another project involves the deaf experiencing music without their ears. All these things have been achieved with no credentials and no training. Failures can lead to success.Mick Ebeling urged his audience to keep telling their own stories because this could lead to helping many people. #Helpone.HelpMany. He put out the challenge, "Who is your one, who could start that spark for you?"

Keep an eye out for further coverage in our Winter 2016/17 issue. 

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