Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician, has spent a quarter of a century creating replicable approaches to health and well being. In the early 1990s he co-founded the Eden Alternative with his wife Jude Meyers Thomas. This approach brought plants, animals, children, and new ways of living and working into sterile nursing homes and soon spread around the world. In the 2000s he developed the Green House™ model that enabled older people living with frailty to become part of a community, living in a household of ten to twelve people.
Dr. Thomas is winner of the American Institute of Architects’ Decade Award for greatest influence over design. His blog ChangingAging.org and national ChangingAging Tour inspire millions of people committed to social change and personal growth.
Dr. Thomas is now focused on helping people of all ages live in the place and manner of their choosing. The simple design of Minka is based on research into human complexity and decades of input from some of our culture’s most vulnerable and valuable people. Dr. Thomas has distilled these insights into the Minka building system. The resulting homes and communities are optimized to help people move, eat, sleep and heal. Working with the University of Southern Indiana, Dr. Thomas and his team are developing a community-building model, MAGIC (Multi-Ability, multi-Generational, Inclusive Communities).
His synthesis of imagination and action led the Wall Street Journal to highlight Dr. Thomas as one of the nation’s “top 10 innovators” changing the future of retirement in America and US News and World Report to name him as one of “America’s best leaders.” The magazine noted that “this creative and wildly exuberant country doctor has become something of a culture changer–reimagining how Americans will approach aging in the 21st century.”
Dr. Thomas recently starred in the Sundance award-winning documentary Alive Inside. He has been traveling the country since 2014 starring in what he calls his Age of Disruption Tour, a “nonfiction theater performance” that has played in over 80 cities. “People hear that a doctor is coming to town to talk about aging and they expect me to show up wearing a white coat with PowerPoint slides. I show up with a guitar, a bass player, a theater set, costumes, music, art, mythology, storytelling, biography, and neuroscience all mixed up. It’s kind of like a TED Talk on steroids.”