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Leading thinkers, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, physicists, computer scientists, researchers and artists, will explore how today’s accelerators and change agents are shaping our future at the TEDxNavesink conference: “Accelerators” at Monmouth University.  TEDxNavesink brings the mission of TED Talks to Monmouth County for an all-day live event for the third annual year.

The conference will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Pollak Theatre, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Avenue in West Long Branch, N.J.

“Accelerators are the people, teams, systems that produce surprising growth, speed, and progress,” said Gail Woods, chief curator, TEDxNavesink. “We selected the 29 speakers and entertainers from over 200 applications.”

“TEDxNavesink 2014 sold out the Two River Theatre a month in advance,” said event founder Brian Smiga. “Monmouth University helped us expand the TEDxNavesink in multiple ways: the 700 seat Pollak Theatre; intimate speaker lunches held in a dozen seminar rooms; a gala reception with entertainment, dinner, wine, beer, and a chance to mingle with speakers, sponsors, professors, and organizations-for an affordable $25 add-on.”

TEDxNavesink is a self-organizing annual Monmouth County-based event dedicated to education, community, innovation, and “ideas worth spreading.” Each year, a different theme is chosen to build the day of nonfiction theater. Hundreds of business and nonprofit leaders, students from local universities and sponsors have planned, managed and funded the all-day event. Sponsors include Monmouth University, Monmouth Medical Center, Sawtooth Agency, Two River Theater, Defined Logic, United Teletech Financial, CMDS Marketing, , the NJ Economic Development Authority and others. Several sponsorship opportunities remain open.

“The partnership between TEDxNavesink and Monmouth University is natural, and its benefits are many,” said Stanton Green, Ph.D., dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Millennials face unprecedented change as universities are challenged to create increasingly inventive learning environments. TEDxNavesink presents an amazing opportunity for Monmouth’s faculty and students to prepare for the future using the knowledge and experience of a global community of thinkers.”

Tickets cost $40 for millennials (those born after Jan 1, 1980), $55 for general seating, and $75 for reserved seating. Attendees are encouraged to add the Navesink Reception with entertainment, dinner, wine and beer from 5 to 8 p.m. for $25. Group discounts are available.

Speakers include the following:

Gary Lewandowski  is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Monmouth University and director of the Relationship Science Lab. Lewandowski is co-editor/co-creator of . He will discuss how to break-up better and why break-ups don’t have to leave you broken.

Bora Joon  is a composer, vocalist, sound artist and a 2014 TED Fellow. She was named on the list of “14 Artists Who Are Transforming the Future of Opera” by Huffington Post, and her pioneering works have been presented internationally.

Joe Iconis  is a musical theater writer and fixture on the New York cabaret scene. He is the recipient of the Kleban Prize, Jonathan Larson Award, ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award and MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award. He is also a nominee of the Drama Desk Awards and Lucille Lortel Award and composer and lyricist of the upcoming musical “Be More Chill” at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey.

Dan Neil  is a Pulitzer Prize-winning car critic whose “Rumble Seat” column appears Saturdays in the “Off Duty” section of The Wall Street Journal. To date, Neil is the only award recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism of automotive arts. He will discuss the ways in which accelerators are changing the rate at which work gets done.

Don Lincoln , particle physicist at Fermilab, uses the Large Hadron Collider (the world’s highest energy particle accelerator) to study questions of matter’s ultimate building blocks and the universe’s origin. He will explore how the true testament to the collaborative potential of the human spirit answers questions that have perplexed humanity for as long as they have been asked.

Dr. Lora Aroyo  is associate professor of computer science at VU University in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Inspired by quantum physics, psychology and crowdsourcing, Aroyo and Dr. Chris Welty present a new approach for helping cognitive computer systems deal with context and make better assistants.

Annika Lorienne  is co-founder and director of public relations of RadioFlag. Lorienne co-created the company’s “Connective Listening” concepts and organized other instrumental aspects of its development. She will discuss how RadioFlag catalyzes empowering radio to better entertain, educate and enlighten people around the world.

Abby Daly  is founder and executive director of the Bridge of Books Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that has distributed nearly a half-million books to underserved children throughout New Jersey since 2003. Daly will talk about why it is time to stop assuming children across all income levels have equal access to books.