Global Maidan



GLOBAL MAIDAN is a conference for civic activists to learn from experts in journalism, comedy, filmmaking, fundraising, and social media, and for those experts to share their insights to help civic activists change the world. 

We are hoping activists will learn new and interesting ways to raise awareness for their causes and get people's attention. Ukraine needs this attention right now as it enters its second year of the crisis and faces a frozen conflict with Russia. Global Maidan will inspire different ways to produce and share creative content on the internet to broadcast messages about urgent causes. We feel this is so important for civic activists working for social justice everywhere that we invite all activists to attend by livestream or join us in person. The livestream will be published on the day of the event on EuroMaidanPress, a crowdsourced news site that sprung up from the revolution in Ukraine and continues to monitor the crisis.

When: Saturday November 15, 2014
Noon - 5pm 

Where:The Ukrainian Museum in the East Village: 222 East Sixth Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)


Global Maidan was organized to honor the one year anniversary of EuroMaidan, the pro-democracy revolution in Ukraine that began November 2013. It is sponsored by Digital Maidan, Razom for Ukraine, Vann Alexandra, EuroMaidanPress, Babylon 13, the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, and the Ukrainian Museum.

Here’s what you’ll learn from our experts:


Comedy Writing

Innovations In Digital Activism

A Crash Course In Independent Filmmaking




Vann Alexandra Daly /  @vannalexandra    /

Vann Alexandra Daly / @vannalexandra /

Vann Alexandra Daly is the founder of Vann Alexandra–a creative services agency that gets projects financed through crowdfunding with a 100% success rate–and the industry’s “Crowdsourceress,” a name she received in the press for her expertise in crowdfunding. In addition to her crowdfunding successes, Alex is a producer for the feature length documentary Cocaine Prison, which has received support from the MacArthur Foundation, Sundance Documentary Fund, Tribeca Latin America Fund, and more.



Meredith Scardino /  @scardinoandsons

Meredith Scardino / @scardinoandsons

Meredith Scardino is an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer. A graduate of Cornell University, Scardino wrote for The Colbert Report and contributed to Stephen Colbert's book, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t. She has written for The Late Show with David Letterman and VH1's Best Week Ever. She is currently a writer on the NBC comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, starring Ellie Kemper of The Office, premiering this spring and created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the producers of 30 Rock.

John Howell Harris /  @jhowellharris  /

John Howell Harris / @jhowellharris /

John Harris is a staff writer at Funny or Die News. Previously, he was head writer at, senior writer and editor for The Onion newspaper, staff writer for The Onion News Network on IFC, and an editor and writer for The New York Times bestselling book, The Onion Book Of Known Knowledge: A Definitive Encyclopaedia Of Existing Information. He lives in Brooklyn.

Sara Taksler is a Senior Producer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. She directed and produced the feature documentary “TWISTED: A Balloonamentary”, a look at the world’s premier balloon-twisting convention. After debuting at South by Southwest, Hollywood Reporter called the film “A thoroughly winning feature” and Variety hailed it “A feel good, irony-free celebration”. Taksler is now directing “Tickling Giants”, a documentary about Bassem Youssef’s “Al Bernameg” the first satirical news show in Egypt.

Michael Malice /   @MichaelMalice  /   (Photo credit: Bill Wadman)

Michael Malice /  @MichaelMalice / (Photo credit: Bill Wadman)

Michael Malice is a writer and editor in New York. He is also the subject of a graphic novel by famed underground comic book writer Harvey Pekar--author of American Splendor--called Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story. In 2012, Malice visited North Korea and returned home to write Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il.

Alex Leo is a writer, technologist, and the founding editor of HuffPost Comedy. She is an editor-at-large for Newsweek, where she was previously the head of product. Before that she was the head of product for, a senior editor at The Huffington Post and an associate producer at ABC News. She was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2012 and chosen by NBC New York as one of the top twenty people to follow on Twitter. Her work has appeared on Elle, Jezebel, The Hairpin, and more, as well as in the play "Love, Loss and What I Wore."



Lesya Kalynska /

Lesya Kalynska /

Lesya Kalynska is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. Originally from Ukraine, she currently lives between Kyiv and NYC. Kalynska earned her MFA in directing and writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her short films Balloonist and The Debt screened internationally, including at the Sundance and Tribeca festivals. Currently Kalynska is making a film about the Maidan called Heaven Admits No Slaves which earned a grant from Sundance.

Jenny Halper

Jenny Halper

Jenny Halper is Director of Production and Development at Maven Pictures, Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s production company, and has worked in that capacity on films including The Kids Are All Right, The Whistleblower, Girl Most Likely, and Filth. Maven's development slate includes adaptations of Jennifer Gilmore's The Mothers, Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty, Marisa Marchetto's Cancer Vixen for HBO, and others.

Jonathan Schienberg /  @ jschienberg

Jonathan Schienberg / @jschienberg

Jonathan is an associate producer with the CBS news magazine series 60 Minutes. Prior to CBS, Jonathan worked as a field producer and assignment editor for CNN in New York and as a freelance stringer for New York Newsday. His freelance work as a multimedia producer and writer has also appeared on PBS Frontline World,, CNN International, and in the Chicago Tribune.

Ava Wiland /  @avidavi  /

Ava Wiland / @avidavi /

Ava Wiland has contributed as a producer on dozens of short documentary films, including the Peabody Award-winning series, “Art in theTwenty First Century,” (Art21) and the Webby-nominated online series, “New York Close Up.” In 2012-13, Ava co-directed and produced the “smARTpower” series, which received support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Her work has screened at prestigious venues and festivals including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and TATE.

Shilpi Gupta /  @guptagirl

Shilpi Gupta / @guptagirl

Shilpi Gupta is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist. Her debut film, When the Storm Came – a haunting depiction of the stigma that rape as a tool of war continues to have on a community through the eyes of survivors in Kashmir – screened at over 30 festivals across the country, winning top prizes in its category, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and short-listing for the 2005 Academy Awards. Gupta has continued to work on highly acclaimed films that have screened all over the world, similarly tackling large social issues through intimate storytelling. Shilpi is currently working on her documentary feature debut, Changing the Game, about the power of soccer to change teens' lives through the eyes of three teams attending the FIFA World Cup's first-ever Football for Hope Festival.

Katie Halper / @KTHalps /

Katie Halper / @KTHalps /

Katie Halper co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); and was outreach director for The Take, the Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum). Her current film, Commie Camp, explores a historic progressive summer camp for children and is being produced by Trish Adlesic, the Academy Award and Emmy Award nominated producer of Gasland.

Mariya Soroka / @SorokaMa /

Mariya Soroka / @SorokaMa /

Moderator Mariya Soroka is a co-founder of Razom for Ukraine (which means “together” in Ukrainian), a non-profit organization established to support the people of Ukraine in their continued quest for democracy, justice, and human rights. Razom uses powerful social networking tools to unite a global network of individuals, institutions and organizations into a coordinated effort supporting this shared goal.



Timothy builds on Free Press’ grassroots and policy work to promote universal access to open networks and protect free speech everywhere. Before joining Free Press, Tim served as executive director of and as vice president of Globalvision New Media. He has also worked extensively as an editor, reporter and photojournalist for the Associated Press, Time, Inc., the New York Times and Australia Consolidated Press.

Andrea Chalupa /  @andreachalupa  /

Andrea Chalupa is a journalist and the author of Orwell and The Refugees: The Untold Story of Animal Farm. She has written for TIME, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and Forbes. She is a founder of DigitalMaidan, an online movement that made the Ukrainian protests the #1 trending topic on Twitter worldwide at a time when the mainstream media was obsessing over Justin Bieber’s arrest in Miami. She is serving on a jury at the 2014 World Forum for Democracy at the Council of Europe to help select the most promising civic engagement initiatives presented at the conference.