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Paul Born

Paul Born
Paul Born is the Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute where he is creating Vibrant Communities and leads the national networks, Cities Reducing Poverty and Cities Deepening Community. The author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers, Born is a faculty member of John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators. Paul 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. He holds a Masters degree in Leadership and specializes in helping organizations and communities to develop innovative ideas that motivate people to collaborative action. Paul is a motivational speaker, and large-scale community change facilitator. He resides in Waterloo, Ontario.

Recent Posts

Cormac Russell Tells the Story of John McKnight and ABCD

Posted by Paul Born on February 15, 2018

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD): Looking Back to Look Forward - In conversation with John McKnight about the intellectual and practical heritage of ABCD and its place in the world today, by Cormac Russell, tells the story behind ABCD. When I say "behind", I mean it provides us an intimate reflection on the people that most influenced John and the ground-breaking ideas that formed his thinking.

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A New Year Obsession

Posted by Paul Born on January 9, 2018

As we enter into yet another chaotic year, do we dare optimism? Or, do we embrace a growing sense that it is too late? Should we just let things unravel, focus on what is best for Me, and watch it all come tumbling down?

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Ending Poverty

Posted by Paul Born on November 20, 2017

I was in San Francisco this week and spoke with pride about Canada's work to end poverty. I may have spoken too boldly. There is something about being in U.S. that makes me want to emphasize how progressive Canada is and share how much more advanced our social agenda is. My behaviour might be likened to a younger brother coming home to visit his more accomplished older brother and provide an update about his year away. 

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Why the human sector needs to care about the environment

Posted by Paul Born on September 5, 2017
My good friend Walter Hossli cares for this earth. In a recent conversation he shared with me some of his thoughts. He is an Albertan  and cares deeply for his country and province.  Read More


Posted by Paul Born on July 6, 2017

What a summer it has been. I am currently on a summer break to rest and reflect and am feeling pretty grateful to our board, Liz Weaver (Acting President) and our team for giving me this opportunity. As you can imagine, getting some extended time away can make one optimistic. I am finding it pretty easy to smile these days.

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A Tribute to the Caledon Institute of Social Policy

Posted by Paul Born on June 8, 2017

The Caledon Institute is a social policy think tank. Co-founded by Alan Broadbent (Maytree) and Ken Battle (joined by Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson) in 1992, it has grown to become one of the most important organizations in Canada for its role in informing and influencing public opinion and fostering public discussion about poverty and social policy in Canada. After 25 years of remarkable work, Caledon will be closing its doors in December but its impact will live for many years to come.

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