Global Political Movement, Students For Liberty, to Launch Media Network Across Nearly 3,000 College Campuses, Using TheMaven’s New Digital Media Platform

Students For Liberty CEO, Wolf von Laer (Photo: Business Wire)

SEATTLE--()--One of the most significant student-led political organizations in the world, Students For Liberty, will join dozens of political causes, foundations and award-winning journalists in operating its home channel on the new digital media network, TheMaven.

The invite-only network -- itself non-partisan when it comes to politics -- is building a coalition of elite content channels and groups and will continue to announce founding partners on all sides of the political spectrum.

Students For Liberty has used the Web and social media to promote its mission, leadership training programs and academic resources for nearly a decade and will now harness the distribution power of TheMaven to amplify passionate student voices.

“We’re encouraged by TheMaven’s politically inclusive and courageous mission,” said Wolf von Laer, CEO of Students For Liberty. “For our movement, publishing and promoting our vision along with community-building in the U.S. and worldwide is our priority.

“Joining a global community of elite thinkers and their passionate followers from all sides will help us stand above the online clutter anger and amateurism that seems to permeate today’s media landscape. We will relaunch early this summer, which will reach thousands of campus chapters, on TheMaven’s new digital media network platform.”

TheMaven provides a select group of media professionals an end-to-end digital platform within a cooperative, sharing resources, distribution and monetization. Dozens of award-winning journalists, best-selling authors, top analysts, important causes, and foundations have already joined the coalition of professional journalists.

“Students For Liberty presents an opportunity for all of us to learn from brilliant, passionate young minds,” said James Heckman, the founder and CEO of TheMaven. “We may not agree with their message, but young people from all sides need a voice -- without censorship, algorithmic manipulation or restrictions -- and we should listen. It seems like we’ve all been manipulated into a polarizing, hateful world of intolerance and so we hope our platform unlocks new hope for brilliant, passionate leaders to create an environment of education, civil communication and community.”

Students For Liberty, founded in 2008 on the cornerstones of academic depth and activism, aims to educate young people about the philosophy of liberty, where the rights of all people in all areas of their lives are respected. Students For Liberty accomplishes this by helping young people learn about the principles of a free society, and by identifying those young people who are already supportive of liberty and providing them with resources to spread the ideas.

Every year, Students For Liberty trains thousands of students to become active on campus, organizes hundreds of events, and brings in tens of thousands of attendees, all with the goal of bringing about a freer society.

TheMaven is an expert-driven, group media network, whose state-of-the-art platform serves, by invitation-only, professional, independent channel partners. By providing broader distribution, greater community engagement, and efficient advertising and membership programs, TheMaven enables partners to focus on the key ingredients to their business: creating, informing, sharing, discovering, leading and interacting with the communities and constituencies they serve.

TheMaven Network will launch this quarter in beta as channel partner signings continue to be announced. For more information, visit

Based in Seattle, TheMaven is publicly traded in the OTC Markets Group, under the ticker symbol MVEN. Key members of the team include:

Founder and CEO James Heckman has extensive experience in digital media, advertising, video and online communities for major public companies and several times as founder. He served as Head of Global Media Strategy for Yahoo!, leading all significant transactions and revenue strategy under Ross Levinsohn’s tenure. As Chief Strategy Officer at Fox Digital, he architected the market-changing, $900 million social media ad alliance between Google and Myspace and was instrumental in Hulu’s formation. Prior to Yahoo!, Mr. Heckman was founder/CEO of (sold to Yahoo!), CSO of, Founder/CEO of (sold to Fox), Founder/CEO of and (sold to Yahoo!, post tenure and 365-Sports, respectively) and held the position of President and Publisher of NFL Exclusive, official publication for every NFL team. Heckman holds a BA in Communications from the University of Washington.

Co-founder and COO, William Sornsin ran MSN's Core Technology team before joining Rivals as co-founder and CTO in 1999, co-founded as CTO/COO; was VP Engineering & Operations at Fox Interactive Media after Scout acquisition. Earlier, Sornsin held a variety of product and program management roles at Microsoft. He holds a BS Electrical/Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa and an MBA from UCLA.

Co-founder and CTO Benjamin Joldersma’s career spans nearly two decades of large-scale platform development, including CTO and chief architect of Ben held the role of Senior software engineer, Geo/Imagery at Google, a Principal Software Engineer at Yahoo!, Chief Architect at 5to1 and held senior engineering roles at aQuantive, and Microsoft. Ben studied Computer Science at University of Puget Sound.

Director Ross Levinsohn is a leading industry figure who has long focused on the convergence of technology and media. He served as CEO at Yahoo in 2012 and prior to that role was Executive Vice President, Americas and Head of Global Media from 2010 to 2012. Levinsohn served as President of Fox Interactive where he helped create one of the largest digital businesses amongst the traditional media companies, and was instrumental in the formation of what is now Hulu. He serves on several public and private media and technology boards, including Tribune Media, mobile advertising marketplace YieldMo, Vubiquity, Zefr, and the National Association of Television Program Executives. He was Executive Chairman and Director of Scout Media, Inc. from 2014-2016, previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Guggenheim Digital Media and co-founded 5to1 Holding Corp, serving as its Executive Chairman. He co-founded Fuse Capital in 2005 and served as its Managing Director and Managing Partner. He served as General Manager at AltaVista Network and Vice President of Programming and Executive Producer at CBS Sportsline. Mr. Levinsohn received a BA in Broadcast Communications from American University, and is a trustee there.


TheMaven Network Inc.
Gretchen Bakamis, 206-715-6660

Release Summary

Global political movement, Students For Liberty, to launch media network across nearly 3,000 college campuses, using TheMaven’s next-generation digital media platform


TheMaven Network Inc.
Gretchen Bakamis, 206-715-6660