By Marsha Adibah
GOMBAK, 15 August 2017: IIUM Prosumer Convention 2017 was held recently for the first time, at both campuses, in Gombak and in sciences-based campus in Kuantan, from 7 until 11 August, in conjunction with the recognition of IIUM as the Premier International Islamic Research University by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) in December 2014.
The aim was to bring together researchers, scholars, industries, entrepreneurs and innovators from several countries to address 21st century opportunities and challenges through conferences attended by outstanding speakers from all over the world, and holding workshops, booth exhibitions, talks and “Pitch Your Product” competition where innovators presented their ideas.
In her speech, IIUM Rector, Prof. Dato’ Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamarudin said that the idea of prosumerism came up more than six month ago presented by Prof. Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin in the university’s management committee meeting.
She enunciated, “This is the university’s commitment in discovering an innovative way to upgrade the quality life of the ummah. The idea of prosumerism has been brought forth with the rapid information technology.”
“Now, rather than simply consuming the products, people are becoming the voices of those products,” she added.
Underlining the statement she said, “Consumers are no longer following trends set by producers, but setting their own trends by producing their own products to their own specification and selling them to other consumers.”
As we are in incredible leaps forward in technology, she said, it is very difficult to imagine what would happen in the future, and the revolution and knowledge has turned the table around. IIUM’s Rector expressed her hopes that through this convention, IIUM and partners would play a role in injecting values into it.
She laid out her vision in upcoming 2020 that “this university will be the world’s best in Islamic banking and finance programme” and also highlighted the International Institute for Halal Research and Training (INHART).
“These two entities personify the essence of this convention empowering worldly wealth without overlooking the spiritual and the virtuous aspect of it,” she said.
The opening ceremony was continued by a message from the Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Idris bin Jusoh, read out by the Director General of Higher Education, Datin Paduka Ir. Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir. In his message, the Minister congratulated IIUM for having taken the initiative to support innovators and entrepreneurs to help transform themselves from passive consumers to active prosumers.
“This is in line with the Ministry’s policy as well as the country’s effort in realising our plan of having a fully developed economy by 2020. And to do this, we have to focus on developing our talents and innovation based on knowledge. Conventions like these provide the proper ground to bring together the academia, civil society, industry, and the government, to move the country forward,” the Minister said.
Elsewhere in his message, the Minister stated, “In the era of the Fourth Industry Revolution where technology is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological, and with this challenging industry, we have to prepare ourselves to be key players in the world economy and not be left behind.”
The message also encouraged anyone with innovative conception as now should be the time for an action. This is the platform to grab the opportunity to put ideas into reality by translating innovation into wealth which is also the theme of this convention.
Through the five-day convention, the event is thought to build a momentum for a halal conference to look at the halal industry in different perspective involving academic, and research components by experts in syariah, science, medicine, pharmaceutical, and environment. ***