030: Debbie Millman – When Life Design Meets Serendipity
The Impossible Network

00:00 / 02:28:38

Guest Overview

One of the most influential voices in design, led the re-design of over 200 global brands, is Co-founder of the Masters in Branding program at New York’s School of Visual Arts and creator, author of six books, and host of one of the most popular and longest-running podcasts, Design Matters, is this week’s guest Debbie Millman. 

As a guest on countless podcasts, we avoid going over much of what you may have already heard in other interviews. Instead, we delve into who Debbie is. 

I hope you enjoy this emotive exploration into the life design of Debbie Millman. 

What We Discuss

Her upbringing in New York

The emotional impact and stigma of her parent’s divorce aged eight 

The impact of the abuse she experienced from her stepfather

A drawing she created as a child that became a visual representation her future life

Why Manhattan became what she called her ‘non-negotiable’ 

The impact and experience of 9/11 

Her life-long struggle with a lack of self-belief

Resilience, hope, and shame

The validation she received from teachers for her 

The empowering effect from one professor’s encouragement 

Her creativity as a child

The liberating experience of being single in 2017 

The serendipity and positive impact of a character destroying post on the Speak Up blog

How she guides and advises her students

Debbie’s innate curiosity

How she interviews for attitude

The transformative impact of coming out in her 50’s 

Her perspective on courage

We discuss Debbie’s periods of depression and despair 

We cover her principles 

Her views on failure 

The hard choices she has made

Her answer to our impossible question

Who we interview next

On Social 





Links In The Show 

Debbie Millman 

Milton Glaser 

School of Visual Arts 

One of Us movie 

SUNY Albany

Professor Helen Regueiro Elam 

Speak Up Blog 

Hacking the American Mind Robert Lustig


Print Magazine

Steven Heller 

Masters In Branding Program 

Sterling Brands 

David Lee Roth 

Joyful Heart Foundation 

Fabrice Grinda

Hedonic Treadmill

Roxanne Gay 

Hunger Book 

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