About Paul Born

Paul Born is the cofounder and President of Tamarack—An Institute for Community Engagement, a leader on issues of place, citizenship engagement, collective impact, and community innovation. The author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers, Born is internationally recognized for his community-building activities that have won awards from the United Nations and as a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

Paul Born grew up in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia as the son of Mennonite refugees. This in part is what made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good, work that he describes as collective altruism.

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Read Paul's blog

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For many years now, Paul Born has been among the most trusted, tender, and practical voices about how to create community. This beautiful book embodies each of those qualities and is a work to be used well and treasured for years to come.”

—Margaret J. Wheatley, author of seven books including Leadership and the New Science and, most recently, So Far from Home


I listen to Paul Born when I want to know how people get together for the common good. He is a master practitioner and storyteller. If you want to know what lies beyond the radical individualism and collective incompetence that plagues our modern lives, read this book.”

—John McKnight, Codirector, Asset-Based Community Development Institute, and coauthor of The Abundant Community


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Invite Paul to Speak

An author of four books, Paul Born is a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator who loves the power of stories. He is considered among North America’s leaders on topics of Community and Collaborative Action. Paul is a skilled communicator/teacher and an exceptional dialogue facilitator, having delivered hundreds of keynotes and workshops for audiences around the world.

Using a unique development process, Paul customizes or co-develops workshops, presentations and learning events to integrate concepts and ideas specific to your group. He works in partnership with you to deeply understand the issues facing your organization or community and the goals you hope to achieve.

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Learn about Paul's Keynotes & Workshops

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Paul in the Media

Paul Born has been featured locally and nationally for his work in poverty reduction and community building. 

  • CBC Ontario Morning - Interview

  • WSOU: Thank God for Monday - Interview

  • Video documentary with Paul Born as he visits More Than a Roof: Become inspired by their stories and spirit of community building.

  • Susan Cook-Scheerer of Rogers Daytime TV interviews Paul Born about Community Conversations and Creating Vibrant Communities - Interview

  • CTV interview featuring Paul Born and Frances Westley as they share their insights on poverty reduction.

Learn about Paul's Other Books

Community Conversations

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Margaret Mead was right! "Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has."

Community Conversations, was originally written at a time when communities around the world were entering a new era of community building. Whether improving economic conditions and reducing poverty, re-energizing citizens and social programs, reducing crime, or revitalizing a troubled neighbourhood, people from all sectors were working together in new ways to improve their quality of life. 

Now, four years later, Community Conversations has become a Canadian best-seller with more than 15,000 copies sold. To celebrate this - and the work of the thousands of community innovators who are making positive change a reality - Tamarack is pleased to release the second edition of Community Conversations: Mobilizing the Ideas, Skills and Passion of Community Organizations, Governments, Business and People which includes fresh, updated content that appeals to a more global audience. 

Full of informative and inspiring examples of collaboration, Community Conversations, 2nd Edition by Paul Born, captures the essence of creating such conversations and offers ten practical techniques - with updated stories and examples - to host conversations in your community.

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Creating Vibrant Communities

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Creating Vibrant Communities: How Individuals and Organizations from Diverse Sectors of Society are Coming Together to Reduce Poverty in Canada.

Vibrant Communities Canada is a national project to reduce poverty in Canada. A relatively young national initiative, the learning generated during its formative years (2002-2006) was extensive.

In Canada, “poverty reduction” is no longer a “wouldn’t it be nice” dream discussed after yet another failure to make a dent in an age-old problem. It’s a living, breathing, exhilarating reality.

All across the country people are approaching poverty in a positive, creative, and energetic way. They are doing so courtesy of a new social phenomenon called Vibrant Communities: a network of people who are getting people together — citizens (no matter what their income), community developers, business people, and representatives from all levels of government — to determine needs, community assets, and strategies. They’re putting plans into action with astonishing results.

Equal parts inspiration, perspiration, and information — this book takes the Vibrant Communities story to new heights as it begins its next exciting phase. Read this book to learn more about innovative comprehensive community initiatives and successful Canadian community campaigns to reduce poverty. 


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