Published On: 30 May 2024

From coffee-fuelled conversations about AI advancing healthcare to networking and breaking barriers across north-south divides, the THINK x SASUF Satellite Events, held in Copenhagen, were a journey of insights and connections!

THINK Network hosted two workshops, as part of the South Africa – Sweden University Forum (SASUF) Satellite Events 2024. The first workshop was about Sustainable Global Health Care and the Role of AI in Bridging North-South Divides, and the second one was on Exploring Community Engagement and Co-Design of Health Interventions from South Africa to Sweden. The workshops were facilitated by THINKers Kristina Wallengren and Suzanne Staples. During the workshops, they shared THINK’s innovative work in using AI to work smart in healthcare to make a difference, as well as THINK’s work in community systems strengthening and using a transdisciplinary approach across disciplines so as not to work in silos.

During the first workshop, the participants from SASUF delved into the governance of AI for sustainable healthcare, explored its role in bridging disparities, and uncovered its power in making a difference. The resounding message? AI won’t snatch jobs, but those wielding it ethically and wisely will shape our future.

In Kristina’s words: “It’s all about using AI to make the world a better place, sharing hands-on use cases to transform health and development, as well as going into deep discussions on ethics and limitations and the importance of keeping ‘the human in the loop’.”


Michael Strange and Dennis Munetsi from Malmö University also presented their work, touching upon an array of issues from the governance of AI for sustainable healthcare; exploring AI’s role in bridging disparities, gender as a cross-sectional lens in AI for health, AI’s potential in SRHR, and bridging health disparities.

On day two, the spotlight was on the Mentor Mothers program with Uppsala University’s Dr. Linnea Stansert Katzen’s presentation, as well as showcasing THINK’s work on TB and HIV. Underscoring the power of global collaboration, with interactive workshops and lively discussions, the event uncovered successes and challenges in community engagement – both within the Global North and Global South. Critical issues like funding were also discussed, and solutions were brainstormed.

SASUF was a fantastic opportunity to bring together brilliant minds from academia, NGOs, government and private sectors, and students from Sweden and South Africa to talk about some of the most pressing global issues. The workshops highlighted how health issues must be tackled through an innovative, intersectional, and multifaceted approach, breaking through north-south divides and putting communities first.

THINK Network’s Comms Officer, Michaela Higgins Sørensen, said: “SASUF was such a wonderful and eye-opening experience. THINK’s workshops truly encompassed our innovative, transdisciplinary, and community-focused work. I have never been more proud to be a THINKer after seeing all of our work on full display, and how impressed all the participants were with us!”