Meet Paola Qualizza, Groundswell's mama bear

Paola brings her experience and interests in new economic models, permaculture, and public space together to build the vibrant ecosystem that is Groundswell’s community.  As our Managing Director, Paola is involved across all aspects of Groundswell's programming and community, hosting our events, coordinating cohorts and supporting the big vision of Groundswell.  She oversees the complex weaving of Groundswell's work, making sure things are running smoothly and that people feel happy and at home at Groundswell.

 Paola has always sought to push the realm of possibilities and is driven by values of common good and equity. She co-founded a Vancouver community currency called Seedstock in 2012, and was co-director of the second annual Living the New Economy Convergence in 2013.  She is a regular panelist and speaker on topics of economic change and community building in the city.  

Paola has been Chair of the Vancouver Public Space Network since 2015 and sits on several City of Vancouver Civic Committees where she advocates for social justice, inclusivity, and a more fun urban experience.  

 Group mentorship session 

Group mentorship session 

Paola is a strong believer in the power of relocalization and an entrepreneurial spirit (aka creativity and action) to create a regenerative, people-first economy.  She has a BA Hons from Simon Fraser University in Human Geography and is dedicated to continue her education on the ground and outside of the traditional ivory tower.

Paola loves her job because she loves working side by side with people who are mobilizing the possibilities of alternative economies and building the better world we all know is possible.