The popularity of podcasts in the last few years has skyrocketed; a 2018 study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that Singaporeans rank among the top podcast consumers in the world. The latest entrant to the growing number of locally-produced podcasts is "Pass the Power", a weekly series hosted by author Paige Parker.
"Pass the Power" boasts an impressive slate of guest stars. Highlights of the first season include diplomat Tommy Koh (who appears in the podcast's debut episode), restaurateur Violet Oon, Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, and Ayesha Khanna, CEO and co-founder of AI solutions firm ADDO AI. The season's 14th and final episode also features Parker's husband, American investor Jim Rogers, and her eldest daughter Hilton Rogers.
But Parker says she isn't just hopping on a trendy bandwagon with her new show: She genuinely hopes her podcast — now available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts — will help start difficult conversations and provide fresh insights into much-debated topics like gender equality, work-life balance and the importance of education.
"Most podcasts doing well in Asia are focused on tech, entrepreneurship, news, and business," she adds. "My podcast will have successful people from all of these industries — and more — offering their personal tales and insights to listeners."
Parker speaks with Tracie Pang, co-founder of Pangdemonium, for her second episode.
Of her guest stars, Parker says: "The guests in season one are real leaders in their fields — and they are brilliant, fabulous and fun. Everyone was willing and eager. Only Professor Koh needed a bit of my persistence to agree, and that funny story is on episode one."
Parker says that the intimate style of her podcast lends a more "holistic" approach to the issues she covers. "People are now absorbing news and information online and via social media," she says, "which is why these conversations are needed via podcast. Podcasting is the new blogging."
As Parker explains, she had been thinking of starting her own podcast for some time — but the "enforced slowdown" brought about by the pandemic gave her the push to make it a reality. "The mood created by the pandemic offered that eureka moment when I had to make it happen," she adds.
Beyond the catchiness of the show's title, Parker says there was a deeper meaning behind the name. "The alliteration is magic," says Parker. "We all want to pass the power on to the next child, friend, woman, co-worker, generation."
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