The Fulcrum Democracy Forum Meets Steven Olikara, President of Bridge Entertainment Labs

Steven Olikara is a nationally recognized change-maker, entrepreneur, political commentator, and executive. He serves as the President of Bridge Entertainment Labs (BEL), dedicated to activating entertainment media to elevate new stories of “us.” He is also the Founder & Former CEO of Millennial Action Project (MAP), the largest nonpartisan organization of young elected leaders in the U.S. Steven’s commentary has been featured in numerous national media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, NBC, the Washington Post, USA Today, and more. He recently made history as the first South Asian candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.

His journey is featured in the documentary film, “The Reunited States,” on Amazon Prime and PBS. Steven also hosted the podcast series, “Meeting in Middle America,” which featured guests such as Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley, former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, and Emmy-winning comedian Charlie Berens. He is a frequent speaker on civic leadership at venues such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, Harvard’s Institute of Politics, SXSW, the National Press Club, the White House, the United Nations, and more. In 2018, he was invited to testify before Congress on issues facing millennial entrepreneurs and gig economy workers. An avid musician, Steven is a former radio DJ in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI, and co-author of the book, JFK: THE LAST SPEECH, on the role of artists in democracy.

Previously, Steven has advised two multi-platinum recording artists on youth empowerment and sustainable energy initiatives, including Akon Lighting Africa which electrified over 1 million homes in Africa with solar power. Steven serves on numerous Boards focused on causes close to his heart: human rights, democracy, national service, and the performing arts. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Truman Scholar. Steven has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017 and a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.

Connect with Steven and David on LinkedIn

As one of the initial driving forces behind the Bridge Alliance and as chairman of the board, David Nevins brings business acumen, vision and a tireless this-must-and-can-be-done zeal to the burgeoning movement to bridge divides to transform the political process.

As a business leader, Nevins excels at building bridges between people and organizations from the right, left and center for civilized conversation and then action.

He co-founded the Bridge Alliance because, as he says, “No matter how well managed and how well funded any one organization is, significant political reform will not happen without an alliance to further collaborative interactions. Together we can and will raise the collective impact of all.”

Nevins is also co-publisher of The Fulcrum, a daily new publication committed to protecting democracy by educating the public on issues that matter. The Fulcrum is a key piece of a larger strategy to build a pro-democracy constituency of millions of Americans by making it easier to find and act on civic engagement opportunities. The Bridge Alliance, The Fulcrum, and Citizen Connect are all interconnected in their support of the ecosystem of our community of pro-democracy organizations and concerned and engaged citizens.

He established and continues to work with The Nevins Fellow program at The Mccourtney Institute of Democracy at  Penn State University. The Nevins Fellows program allows students to complete internships at organizations that bring people together to solve common problems. In this program students begin by taking a Democratic Leadership class that introduces them to a different side of democracy—one that focuses not on campaigns and elections, but on bringing people together to work on common problems. Students learn about organizations doing this kind of work, and develop the skills necessary to facilitate conversations about community issues.

He is a member of the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows, with a focus on the Aspen Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership.

Nevins graduated with honors in economics from Penn State in 1969 and received an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He continues as President of Nevins Real Estate Management.  Nevins is married to Catherine Moyal Nevins.  They currently reside in Palm Beach Gardens Florida and Cape May New Jersey.