Five Good Ideas

Five Good Ideas about the power of ideas: The 100th session

Published on 05/12/2016

The evening’s panel discussion provided a behind-the-scenes look at how some of our sector’s leaders come up with ideas, how they can tell when they’ve got a good one, and how to make them stick.

Mary Rowe, urbanist, civic entrepreneur and newly appointed Deputy Principal Secretary, Office of the Premier of Ontario, moderated a panel of four Five Good Ideas speakers:

  • Lisa Mattam, Founder and President, Sahajan
  • Nick Saul, President and CEO, Community Food Centres Canada
  • Peter Sloly, Executive Director, Deloitte Canada
  • Sherri Torjman, Vice-President, Caledon Institute of Social Policy

Peter Sloly

National Security and Justice Leader, Deloitte Canada

Peter Sloly is a former Deputy Chief of Police with the Toronto Police Service and now an Executive Director with Deloitte Canada. He is leading two national practices for Deloitte Canada: The “Security & Justice” practice to modernize and optimize the police, courts, corrections, emergency responders, national security agencies and transportation hubs; and the “Convergence Security” practice to enable private and public sector organizations to be more safe, vigilant and resilient in the constantly changing and increasingly interrelated world of physical and cyber threats. Peter is an internationally recognized thought leader in policing and an in-demand public speaker on security and justice related issues. Peter has extensive security & justice experience including participation the FBI National Academy, the Pearls in Policing Program and the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo where he served two tours of duty as a Command Staff Officer and the Canadian Contingent Commander. Peter received the following awards; Officer of the Order of Merit “Police Forces” Medal, the United Nations Peacekeeping medal, the Canadian Peacekeeping Medal, the Police Exemplary Service Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for public service. Peter was a professional soccer player and represented the Canadian National Soccer Team. He currently sits on several local, national and international NGO Boards.

Sherri Torjman

Social Policy Consultant and former Vice-President, Caledon Institute of Social Policy

Sherri Torjman is a Social Policy Consultant. She was Vice-President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. Over the past 30 years, Sherri has made an invaluable contribution to social policy in Canada through her analysis, writing and public speaking on welfare reform, disability income and supports, home care, caregiver needs and community-based poverty reduction. Sherri has authored and co-authored close to 300 reports on various aspects of social policy. Her wide-ranging work has influenced governments at all levels, voluntary organizations, community groups, the media, academics and students. In 2014-15, Sherri Torjman was a member of the Leader’s (now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s) Economic Advisory Council. In association with Ken Battle, she proposed and helped design many of the social policy initiatives that the current government is now implementing related to child benefits, poverty reduction, pensions, caregivers, home care and social infrastructure. In 2012, Sherri was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her policy work on caregivers. She received the Champion of Human Services Award from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association in 2011 and the Top 25 Canadians Award from the Canadian Association of Retired Persons in 2010.

Lisa Mattam

Founder and President, Sahajan

Lisa Mattam is the Founder and President of Sahajan, an Ayurvedic Natural Skin and Haircare Company. Since the company’s launch in 2015, Sahajan has enjoyed great success with coverage in Chatelaine, Cityline, Best Health and Vogue and has a retail presence in both Canada and the U.S. Lisa was the only Canadian chosen for Sephora’s inaugural Beauty Accelerator program, and Forbes magazine has described her as one of eight female entrepreneurs changing the face of beauty. A serial entrepreneur, Lisa’s first venture was The Mattam Group, a consulting practice where she established thought leadership in strategic process, leadership development, diversity and the advancement of women. An industry leader in talent management, The Mattam Group’s clients include Pepsi Bottling, IBM, Dell and Bayer. In 2009, Profit Magazine ranked Lisa as one of the top ten women emerging entrepreneurs in Canada; and, in 2011, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce named Lisa its Female Entrepreneur of the Year.

Nick Saul

President and CEO, Community Food Centres Canada

Nick Saul is co-founder and President and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada, a national organization that builds and supports vibrant, food-focused community centres in low-income neighbourhoods. These centres are based on the idea that good food is a powerful force for greater health, equity and social change. Nick is a recipient of the prestigious Jane Jacobs Prize, as well as the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and has an honorary doctorate from Ryerson University. A long-time community organizer, Nick speaks regularly on issues of justice, civic engagement and the Community Food Centre model of food access, health and community building. Born in Tanzania and raised in Canada, Nick studied at University of Toronto and Warwick University in the U.K. as a Commonwealth Scholar. His bestselling book, The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement, written with his wife, Andrea Curtis, was nominated for the Toronto Book Award and won several other awards. Nick lives in Toronto and is the proud father of two boys.



Mary W. Rowe

Urbanist, civic entrepreneur and Deputy Principal Secretary, Office of the Premier of Ontario

Mary W. Rowe is the newly appointed Deputy Principal Secretary, Office of the Premier, Ontario. A well-known urbanist and civic entrepreneur, she was previously the Senior Urban Fellow at Evergreen Canada. Before returning to Canada in 2016, Mary worked in New York City in a number of positions, including Senior Fellow of the Project for Public Spaces and Executive Vice President for the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS). At MAS, she supported work to research, train and advocate for city-building practices and policies that build economic vitality, cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability and social diversity. Her engagement with MAS followed five years of work recovering the city of New Orleans, including as coordinator of the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation, a loose alliance of initiatives that emerged in response to the systemic collapses of 2005. Mary is an experienced facilitator, convenor and communicator on urban issues, and worked for ten years in Toronto as President of Ideas that Matter. Books to which she has contributed include What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs; Oil and Water…and Other Things That Don’t Mix; Toronto: Considering Self-governmentWomen in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design; and Ideas that Matter: The Worlds of Jane Jacobs.