Dr. Bill Thomas — Founder
“What we need is a radical reinterpretation of longevity that makes elders (and their needs) central to our collective pursuit of happiness and well-being.” – Dr. Bill Thomas (read full article)
Dr. Bill Thomas is an author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging. Best known for his health care system innovations, he is the founder of a global non-profit (The Eden Alternative) which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House(R) which Provider Magazine has called the “pinnacle of culture change.” Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER model of care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders.
His most recent novel (“Tribes of Eden“) is a post-apocalyptic thriller that explores the value of community in a world that is increasingly defined by and dependent on digital technology. Dr. Thomas’ latest play (“Play What’s Not There”) blends Greek mythology and Jazz with a taut exploration of the tension between work and life. The play premiered at the prestigious Guthrie Theater. In Spring 2014, Simon and Schuster will publish Dr. Thomas’ non-fiction reconsideration of the mythology that surrounds America’s Post War Generation (Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper and More Connected Life). As the guitarist for the acoustic duo “Hot Koko,” Thomas has recorded and released two collections of American roots music.
Dr. Thomas’ eclectic career has included two decades living off the grid and running a mixed power farming operation (Summer Hill), founding one of the first technology companies to offer clinicians immediate access to outcome data (Rumpelstitlskin), teaching medical students and serving as a founding faculty member of UMBC’s Erickson School of Aging. He is also the founder of the influential multi-author blogging platform, ChangingAging.org. A popular public speaker, Dr. Thomas is known for his thoughtful, heartfelt (and Powerpoint-free) approach to engaging with a wide range of audiences.
This synthesis of imagination and action led the Wall Street Journal to highlight Dr. Thomas as one of the nation’s “top 12 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 his “startling common-sense ideas and his ability to persuade others to take a risk,” and concluded 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 continues to write, perform and help Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profits develop new products and services that make the most of normal human aging.
Kavan Peterson – Co-Founder
“I think aging is integral to human development and growth, yet much feared and little understood. By nearly every measurement, the second half of life brings more happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction than the “glory days” of youth. Instead of embracing the many virtues of aging, society teaches us to value only the most superficial dimensions — our ability to look and act youthful. The consequences of this outlook are stupendously wasteful and harmful to both individuals and society at large.” — Kavan Peterson
Kavan Peterson is co-founder of the pro-aging multi-blog network ChangingAging.org and a communications consultant committed to promoting the equality, sustainability, health and well being of people of all ages.
Combining careers as a national journalist and social media entrepreneur, Kavan focuses on the power of user-generated content to communicate pro-aging ideas and build movements. His company KPG Consulting has developed strategies for non-profits, foundations, higher education and Fortune 500 companies to understand and engage in social media communications that build purpose, engage audiences and make change.
As a former reporter for Stateline.org and contributor to NPR, Kavan specialized in social justice reporting on aging, gay rights, education reform, immigration and the death penalty.
A writer, blogger and videographer, Kavan enjoys exploring caves, mountain tops and vintage motorcycles. He recently relocated to Seattle with his wife and two kids and is active building local aging-in-community and dementia-friendly initiatives.