The Secret Nightlife that bred a Politician— Dinner with Christine Loh, Under Secretary of the Environment

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Christine donating dinner and raising 135 volunteer hours

Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality and attitude behind their ventures and stories.

From commodities trading, founding think-tank Civic Exchange to currently being Under Secretary of the Environment, Christine Loh has done it all and well — successfully sponsoring the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance, and being named “Hero of the Environment” by TIME, just to name a few highlights. Over dinner at the Central Government Complex, she shared with us how her “secret night life” brought her to where she is.

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What are the most important experiences to get out of your 20s?

“When you are in your 20s, you have a lot of energy and are not bound by responsibilities. Do the things you love, as you may not be able to in the future.

I was a long-distance runner and I used to feel fit and mighty. I am glad I got to experience that, as it is something quite impossible now. I always loved sports and arts, but I have had to give up on these because of my hectic work life. Later on in life, you will be busy with work and family, so your 20s is really the time when you should go out and try new things.”

At the meeting, Christine has shared that she had a “secret night life” when she was in the business sector — where she enjoyed meeting friends with an interest in public policy, an area she’s found a passion in due to the impact and difference that could be made in people’s lives. She encouraged all of us to have our “secret night life”, go for our hobbies and what we love doing, as it may lead us to new opportunities and unique networks of friends.

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How can people impress you?

“I like people who are real, who share a bit of themselves. The short time that you have with anyone is significant.

Be present, be there, and enjoy every moment of the conversation.”

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What are the key takeaways you want everyone to remember?

“Be interesting and live interesting lives.

Work hard because you can always do better.

When I was younger, I had these extra capacities and capabilities I wasn’t putting to use. If I had worked harder, I might have been able to do more or perform better.”

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Thank you Christine and everyone for volunteering, which has contributed 135 volunteer hours to Food Angel, Hong Kong Dog Rescue, Friends of the Earth, Local Life, UNICEF, Kids4Kids and more!

For more opportunities, visit Time Auction to volunteer and meet inspiring people!

A few messages from the volunteers:


Dear Christine, thank you so much for sharing your life experience with us and advising us to lead better lives. I truly admire your fearlessness even in the face of uncertainty and new opportunities.


Hi Christine! It was such an inspiring experience to have met you. Thank you for sharing your motivation to move forwards and grab opportunities that come along. Let’s work hard while enjoying ourselves!

This article originally appeared on our blog on Medium:

Updated on 8 April, 2021
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