EUniWell students participate in “Simu-VACTION: AI and Health Disparities On A Global Stage” event

11/24/2022 | by Elodie Bernard | Event Participation

In November 2022, EUniWell students participated in the innovative Simu-VACTION (Simulation | Innovation | Action) project at Emory University, Atlanta, USA.

Participants of the Simu-VACTION event pose on a staircase in front of a building entrance.
Participants of the Simu-VACTION event.

Funded through the EUniWell Seed Funding Programme, Project Simu-VACTION was an invitation for students to think globally about local issues by participating in a simulation titled “AI and Health Disparities on a Global Stage”. The simulation replicated an international meeting of the "Global Partnership on AI", which is an international forum created by the French and Canadian governments. 26 students from 11 academic institutions from across the world played the roles of national delegations, stakeholders and journalists. Together, they discussed the medical and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence and its role in decreasing the health disparities on a global stage.

An ecosystem around Artificial Intelligence

This November, students from across Europe (via the EUniWell Alliance) and North America universities met at Emory University, Atlanta, USA to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The Simu-VACTION project aimed to connect students with academics, private and non-profit sector representatives as well as community actors engaged in issues of health disparities. It provided an opportunity for all actors to meet, discuss, and act around a common goal and project.

During the Simu-VACTION event, students were able to link their knowledge and interpersonal skills to reach a consensus, through multi-disciplinary teamwork. To prepare for the negotiation and simulation around the theme: “How can we ensure that AI, designed to help address health inequities does not, in fact, increase such disparities?”, students worked in advance with their peers from other universities, within the EUniWell Alliance and beyond.

A ground-breaking active learning experience

During the two months leading to the actual in-person event, students attended conferences led by experts in their fields (on Health, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, Data Security…) and negotiation training from partner universities, to provide them with the tools to make an impact during the event. 

At the event, the students hosted a simulated press conference, as well as a 2-day negotiation with students and experts posing as heads of state, stakeholders, lobbyists and representatives from the industry. This innovative learning experience was a way for students to actively engage, practice and contribute to the ethical development of Artificial Intelligence. 

Students were attributed a specific role, and tasked to faithfully defend their interest by advancing the position of the entity they represented and ultimately drafting an agreement that illustrates the interest of all parties involved. 

A global take on a global issue

The issue of Artificial Intelligence and its role in equal access to care is a global issue that cannot be tackled by only one group of individuals or one country. The project’s aims was to reflect the “Think Globally, Act Locally” motto, in an effort to consider diverse opinions and backgrounds on the topic. 

Beyond the training opportunity, the Simu-VACTION project is also a way to strengthen the links between academic, institutional and NGO actors working on the topic of Artificial Intelligence around the world. This event was an opportunity to deepen the collaboration between universities and their communities, develop their network and foresee further collaboration to advance the discussion on Artificial Intelligence Ethics.


For more information on EUniWell participation in Simu-VACTION, please contact elodie.bernard[@]


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