Neal and Amer met during their time working at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City. Since then, they’ve traveled around the globe, journeyed to festivals and states across the U.S., and worked together on events like the Marketplace of the Future, which was the official closing night event of Climate Week in 2021, the Harlem Arts Festival, and more.
Now they’ve decided to come together to create a new space for conversation.
What will the world look like once we've "solved" climate change? How will a 1.5 aligned world actually feel? And what are the indicators of that future expressing itself right now in the present? These are the questions that guide Amer's life and work.
Amer is 40 under 40 Syrian-American award-winning DJ turned environmental entrepreneur. He is an adjunct professor of Social Entrepreneurship at John Jay College in Manhattan and a professor at Parsons University for Strategic Design and Management, he is the founder of Future Meets Present, an environmental design studio dedicated to envisioning a healed world on the "other side" of climate change, and runs the annual closing ceremony and official vision partner for Climate Week NYC called the Marketplace of the Future.
Follow him on Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, or on his Website.
Neal Ludevig is a producer, artist, writer, activist and entrepreneur focused on challenging dominant systems in today’s world through storytelling. Currently the Chief Creative Officer and a founder at Snarky Elephant Productions, Neal is writer and producer for film and TV, most recently of the acclaimed mini-series “Insomnia” on the Revry network, and the feature films in development Rangoli and Monsoon, films addressing the intersections of identity, race, the artist experience, conservative values in a modernizing world, relationships, and jazz.
Neal also has a deep passion for creating community and bringing ideas to life. He is the founder of Moon31, a creative media agency, helped launch Enlightened Snacks, a national CPG company that redefined the ice cream aisle, the Executive Producer for the Revive Big Band’s debut album, an Experience Board Member at Selina, and a member of Oceanic Global’s NYC Hub. Neal also curates an ongoing jam session called The Astor Party, and hosts FED Sessions, a dinner series where thought leaders and invitees "make bread and break bread" together.
His work has been covered (inter)nationally in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, CBS, ABC, Time Out, and Elle, them.us, and many more. Named an Emerging Leader by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), Neal also received a Congressional Proclamation from NYS for his work starting the non-profit Harlem Arts Festival.
Leave Looking up couldn't be what it is without its incredible team of producers, engineers, and staff. Just as optimistic and entrepreneurial as its hosts, these folks are the best of the best in their categories, having worked with and created some of the most iconic brands out there, and produced content for some of the most forward-thinking companies and podcasts.
Read on to learn more about who they are and what they're about.
Lushik Lotus Lee is an audio producer and editor who has worked for NPR, MSNBC, SiriusXM, LAist studios, KCRW, FreshEd, ASU and VPM. At 16 she earned a scholarship to study at the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She graduated from Bennington College with a concentration in Media and Social Justice.
Lushik is passionate about producing podcasts and documentaries that focus on issues affecting marginalized populations around the world.
Kyle Getz (he/they) is a queer Seattle-based writer and podcaster. He is the creator and host of the Gayish Podcast, which has been nominated 5x for Best LGBTQ Podcast by the People’s Choice Podcast Awards, reached #4 in the iTunes Sexuality charts. and has been mentioned in NPR, Esquire, Buzzfeed, and Oprah Magazine.
Kyle’s debut poetry chapbook, “gays don’t poop,” was published by giallo in 2021.
Andrea Kang is a multidisciplinary artist and designer specializing in UX design and strategy. Her mission is to collaborate with passionate, heart-centered people to make the world a more sustainable and just place.
She’s worked with global clients such as Google, YouTube and Spotify on projects ranging from product design, user & market research to vision strategy. Her work has been recognized by D&AD, Webby Awards and Cannes Lion.
Outside of design, her career spans food media, events & hospitality, community management and (surprise) permaculture farming. When she’s off screen, you’ll find Andy stewarding land on various farms, guiding others into slowness and working on her art.
JUSTIN "JETT" CARTER
An acclaimed producer, musician, and drummer, Justin has toured internationally and performed with and alongside with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Bilal, Dave Chappelle, Robert Glasper, among others. He is a founding member of Jazzebelle, and has performed at major international festivals around the world.