Paul Born

Ashoka Fellow
Waterloo, ON, Canada
Fellow Since 2013
Co founder of the Tamarack Institute and author of four books. A passion for ending poverty and all things community

Learn more about Paul and the work of Tamarack at:
Paul's detailed profile and info on his books can be found at:

Tamarack's website can be found at:

Tamarack poverty reduction work - Vibrant Communities can be found at 

Related TopicsDevelopment & Prosperity, Poverty alleviation, Urban development


This profile was prepared when Paul Born was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
Paul sees communities themselves as the key agents to transform local poverty by building an interconnected system with context-based and measurable solutions that give ownership to all stakeholders in the public, private and social sectors.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person


As President and Co Founder of the Tamarack Institute for the past 15 years I lead a small national team of amazing practitioners and thought leaders. I alsoteach throughout North America and at times in countries around the world. Iam the author of four books, two Canadian best sellers including Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times and Community Conversations.

Tamarack focuses on three areas of impact. The first two are practice areas in which we apply what we learn in our learning center. I founded Vibrant Communities a network of over 50 cities in Canada committed to reducing poverty. These cities use a collective impact framework and develop comprehensive poverty reduction strategies and form multi-sector leadership roundtables to implement 5 year campaigns to reduce the number of poor families in their city. To date we have reduced poverty for more than 250,000 families.

Tamarack's second major area of impact is Deepening Community where we work with 25 cities to develop strategies to strengthen a sense of community and collective altruism in their city. We are also working to link 100 neighborhood strategy leaders by creating a learning community that willaccelerate their impact. Tamarack's learning center hosts learning communities in 5 thought leadership areas including, Collective Impact, Community Engagement, Community Innovation, Collaborative Leadership and Evaluating Community Impact. More than 22,000 learners attend learning events, webinars, communities of practice and engage in online learning to their work of community change easier and more effective. We pride ourselves in turning theory into practice. In 2015 we hosted more than 13,000 learner days by attending our learning events andevery month more than 14,000 unique visitors learn online. I firmly believe that whatever the problem - community is the answer. Much joy!

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