Belief in the power of community is at the heart of Paul’s life and work. He brings the joy of belonging to all that he does. He has been called a “master practitioner” as he supports communities move beyond individualism and isolation and into a deepened process of relationship-building that results in whole community change.
As a global leader and award-winning author on issues of community engagement and change, Paul is the Co-founder of Tamarack Institute and for 20 years was the CEO/Co-CEO. He is the founder and was the director of Vibrant Communities a national network of nearly 500 cities and communities ending poverty, deepening community, building youth futures and advancing climate transitions. Prior to that Paul founded and served as the CEO of Community Opportunities Development Association (CODA). CODA was awarded the distinguished United Nations Best Practices (Top 40) award for their community economic development work in the Waterloo Region of Canada. Paul’s newest venture is founding BE Community Ltd., a consulting company whose mission is to support communities to discover and realize breakthrough community change.
Paul is the author of five books including two best sellers (Deepening Community and Community Conversations). His latest book Breakthrough Community Change is a practical guide to whole community change and will be available April 2023.
Paul holds an M.A. in Leadership and in 2020 was selected as the Arts Alumni Achievement Award recipient at the University of Waterloo Canada's top innovation university. He is a global faculty member of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world's largest network of social innovators. Paul was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2019.
Paul grew up as the son of refugees that worked together to survive and thrive. This experience is what made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good.