The ICT-INOV conference and meeting, held at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Computer Science & Information Technology, saw a blend of innovation and cultural exchange from January 9-11. This significant event, officiated by Deputy Vice Chancellor of Development Universiti Malaya, Prof Ir. Dr. Ramesh Singh, was a step forward in modernizing ICT education through design thinking on a global scale, a grant sponsored by Erasmus Plus, European Union. Dr. Hariklia Tsalapatas (from University of Thessaly, Greece), Dr. Raja Jamilah Raja Yusof (Universiti Malaya) and Zailani Ibrahim (Universiti Tenaga Nasional) spearheaded the event, showcasing the collaboration of over 30 international partners from Portugal, Italy, Estonia, Pakistan, Nepal and Vietnam.
The unique aspect of ICT-INOV meeting and conference was its integration of academic rigor with a deep dive into Malaysian culture. Starting with the conference tags that are uniquely crafted from cloth sourced from Sarawak, adorned with traditional Sarawakian patterns. This thoughtful touch not only added an element of local craftsmanship to the event but also served as a meaningful keepsake for the participants, embodying the rich artistic heritage of Sarawak.
At the Academy of Malay Studies Museum, Universiti Malaya, the partners were introduced to an array of traditional Malay artifacts and designs. They marveled at intricate wood carvings, showcasing the detailed art of Wau kite making, and the finesse of mengkuang weaving patterns. The museum also displayed an array of “keris,” traditional Malay daggers and shown one that uniquely balanced to stand on its own, exemplifying the exceptional craftsmanship of Malay artisans. The diversity of “Rehal” (Quranic book stands) and the variety of “tengkolok” (traditional Malay headgear) further enriched their understanding of Malay cultural heritage.
The culinary experience was equally enriching. The ICT-INOV partners were treated to an array of traditional Malay “kuih” and dishes. They tasted the sweet and savory delights of “kuih kochi,” a coconut-filled delicacy, and “serawa durian,” a creamy durian dessert. The savory “pulut panggang,” grilled glutinous rice, and “masak lemak cili padi,” a spicy and creamy dish, offered a taste of authentic Malay flavors. The experience was topped off with “rojak buah,” a tangy fruit salad, showcasing the diverse palate of Malaysian cuisine.
Participants enjoyed a blend of local heritage and cuisine, alongside exploring traditional Malay artifacts. The event took an exciting turn on January 10, with a warm welcome at Universiti Tenaga Nasional by Prof Dato Ts. Dr. Mohd Zamri Yusoff. The same day, attendees were greeted at the Malaysia Design Council by Mr. Husaini Ismail, with an enlightening keynote speech by Prof. Emeritus Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Haji Zainuddin. The visit highlighted the Malaysian good design award showcase and a model Industry 4.0 factory setting, illuminating the country’s strides in modern design and manufacturing.
The event culminated in a memorable dinner at Arina Skyview, where participants enjoyed the breathtaking night view of the KLCC area from the 20th floor. This dinner not only provided a spectacular visual feast but also offered a chance for participants to reflect on the rich experiences and knowledge gained during the conference. The combination of academic insights, cultural immersion, and the captivating scenery of Kuala Lumpur made ICT-INOV an unforgettable event for all involved.
ICT-INOV stands as a beacon of international cooperation, blending technological innovation with cultural appreciation, echoing Malaysia’s commitment to being at the forefront of ICT education. The event ended on the third day with paper presentations of research discourse on Design Thinking in many aspects from the viewpoint of the presenters. The keynote speech was delivered by Associate Professor Dr. Nur Azah Hamzaid from Academic Development and Enhancement Centre (ADEC), Universiti Malaya. The concluding point was that Design Thinking could be incorporated in many areas related to industry as well as in academia teaching and learning context for the benefit of the future generations.
Further details regarding the program may be enquired from Dr. Raja Jamilah Raja Yusof at firstname.lastname@example.org