"That sounds tacky, but it’s how I feel" - Interview with Regina Larko
This week, in a slightly extended “Take five…” series interview, our special guest, fellow female world-changer from Hong Kong and a dear friend - ladies and gentlemen, we present you Regina Larko from #impact podcast!
What is your background and how did you end up in Hong Kong?
I was born and raised in Vienna. I adore my hometown and leaving Vienna happened by accident. I enrolled in China Studies just out of curiosity. The more I learned about China, the more fascinated I became by this part of the world. It was only natural that I wanted to work in the country that I had spent so much time studying. After graduating from university my now husband and I packed two slightly overweight suitcases and boarded a plane to Shanghai. The original plan was to stay for one year. That was in 2009. We are still here and made our way to Hong Kong via Beijing where I worked for a Think Tank researching international relations and running civic education programmes.
How was the idea for #impact born?
It started with my love for audio and Podcasts. So I thought, well, why not start a Podcast myself? Of course, it was not that simple. It was a process of 2 years that I spent freelancing with media's finest like The Economist, always keeping an open mind for new opportunities, making meaningful connections along the way. But the urge to build something from scratch never left me. With #impact I managed to marry many of my big passions - audio, purpose-driven work and at the heart of it all is my curiosity for people and their stories and my urge to cheer them on.
What do you think your reception of the podcast is like here in Hong Kong?
The feedback I am receiving has been fantastic. I am so grateful for listeners reaching out and sharing that they feel inspired by our content. It was for sure one of the most magical moments in the #impact history when the first complete stranger reached out and shared that she started volunteering for one of the organisations we featured. Reading her feedback, I remember screaming of joy. After calming down, I immediately contacted her. I must meet this girl, I thought. So I did - and I even recorded an episode with her. That made me so happy.
What are the most important problems that you want to tackle? Any personal battles?
Mental Health is a topic that is very close to my heart. I think we don't talk about it enough, especially here in Hong Kong. There is this huge stigma when it comes to mental health issues. I am so very grateful that I could already do a few episodes on the topic, like the one with Dr Jamie Chiu, Founder of The Brightly Project. And we will do another feature with her in the upcoming Season.
Who are your personal heroes?
My mum and all the wonder women in my family. My mum had me very young, she had just turned 20, so the whole family helped out raising me. My family made me who I am, and I am so incredibly grateful to have them. They are my heroes. Gosh, I am like tearing up, just thinking of them. We do live so far apart...but they are always with me. I feel their energy with me wherever I am. That sounds so tacky, but it’s how I feel.
What are your plans for the future of #impact? Who can we expect to hear by your side in the foreseeable future?
I am currently lining up Season 4 of #impact Podcast that will focus on founder stories - people that started something from scratch not just to make a living but because they all want to impact the world with their work in a positive way. I will revisit former guests of #impact, hear what they have achieved since we last met and how they have grown their impact. Of course, there will also be new voices on the show, new ideas and always with my ultimate goal to empower listeners toget involved themselves and make an impact. We will kick off with the first episode this November. So watch this space!