Semester 2 of 2019/2020 session was definitely unforgettable and full of new surprises for UTM Center for Student Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship (UTM XCITE), in spite of many limitations caused by Movement Control Order (MCO) to tackle Covid19 pandemic. It did not stop UTM XCITE, being a ‘centre of students’ innovation and technology entrepreneurship’ from coming up with new innovative and effective initiatives to continue conducting programs and keep educating students in the field of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. One such initiative taken was the initiation of Leader-preneurship UTM XCITE (LDP UTMXCITE), an association completely run by a group of students from UTMXCITE, to catalyse innovation and accelerate learning among the students through workshops, mentorship and experience sharing from either UTM students or alumnus.

This LDP UTM XCITE is envisioned in the hopes of building up a significant and effectual ecosystem, by gathering a group of like-minded people who are hungry and eager to learn. The 4 key elements or pillars that shape up LDP UTM XCITE are leadership, mentorship, entrepreneurship and self-enrichment programs. In it, a particular interest, a fresh approach by them was their very own coffee talk series, #-, an idea-sharing platform where people of various backgrounds within Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) can gather to have a casual chat, where the conversation will be democratic and everyone will be able to freely express his or her own ideas and opinions on the “Topic of the Day”.

The fundamental rationale behind the ideation of Coffee Talk: #- was the believe in the power of a friendly and productive conversation to promote positive relationship developments and provide extra perspectives on the discussed matter among the people in the room or a discussion. With a limited number of participation slots for each #- sessions, participants were not only limited to students, but lecturers and alumni were encouraged to take part and share their ideas.

Throughout Semester 2 2019/2020 there were six #- sessions held virtually due to MCO, with participants compromising students, academicians and alumni from different faculties, age groups and field of work. The topics discussed were; ‘How Digitalisation in the Midst of Covid-19 Changes our life?’ (21st April 2020), ‘How does COVID-19 impact future job market?’ (28th April 2020), ‘Meaningful experiences with University programme’ (5th May 2020), ‘What should student set out to achieve during university years?’ (12th May 2020), ‘How to Spend Your Time Wisely?’ (19th May 2020), and finally ‘Human Right’ (2nd June 2020).

Photo session with #- Participants

To sum up, the #- sessions conducted by LDP UTM XCITE received great positive reception from UTM communities and fellow participants found the sessions to be very enthusiastic and insightful. There are more #- sessions and other initiatives planned by LDP UTM XCITE for the future, with objective of expanding more and reaching more people, particularly students by allowing, involving and collaborating with other higher institutions in Malaysia and around the globe.