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Catching up with Amer Jandali (‘16)

Amer Djing against the NYC skyline at golden hour.

Now the founder and CEO of evolving social design company Future Meets Present, Amer Jandali (‘16) has had quite the journey since his time as a nightclub DJ. For some time after earning his degree in International Business in 2010, Amer performed across the country and began his own radio show with a through line of activism, often using his platform as a musician to spread awareness of causes he cared about–including the burgeoning war in his family’s home-country Syria and his concern with plastic bag waste.

While DJing, he began to realize an interest in something greater, and made the shift toward applying to graduate school after a few years. With the goal of influencing businesses on their plastic use from the inside, Amer initially tried applying to branding programs, but switched courses upon receiving an unexpected email from DSI that inspired him to enter the field of social design and pursue his fascination with sustainability.

While at DSI, he worked on two major projects that stemmed from his dedication to innovating waste. The first was Braceletote--a bracelet/shopping bag which started out as a Shop class project and grew into a successful online business. Second was his thesis project–Compostal–in which he tackled the issue of food waste in NYC in collaboration with fellow ‘16 grad Kyle Calian. Now, after graduating, he continues to work in pursuit of sustainable solutions with various partners and mediums, and most recently helped the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) reinvent their space into a zero-waste office.

Though this project is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amer has continued to work with CSI as an online community designer and often presents the project as a multi-faceted, yet simple way to explain social design and complex problem-solving to the public. 

With his years of experience in various fields, Amer has learned a key lesson which he now offers as sound advice for future social designers and DSI students: 

“You need to realize the distinction between commitment and attachment–one is driven from an intention, and the other is driven by expectation. Commit to your intention & detach from your expectation.”

In Amer’s case, he is committed to using design to promote a vision of a sustainable future – a time in which the Paris Accord has been met and the Sustainable Development Goals have been reached. You can read more on his website.

In Amer’s case, he is committed to creating products out of recycled materials, diverting plastic waste, and promoting a circular economy in his own business and client-work, which you can read more about on his website.

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