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Our team

Tania Vergnani - SynNovator

Tania Vergnani is currently an associate professor and Director of the HIV and AIDS Programme at the University of the Western Cape. She has helped build the programme into one of the best university HIV and AIDS Programmes in South Africa. Tania’s areas of expertise include training teachers and other professionals in the fields of critical thinking skills, health promotion, life skills, HIV and AIDS education, gender power issues, cultural diversity and systems theory.

Tania is a facilitator using the SynNovation process for collaborative innovation and creative problem-solving. She is passionate about the vital importance of creating critically thinking citizens that can help address the huge diversity of problems facing everything living on this planet. She believes that creative problem solving and change management are essential for this process.

She is a registered and practicing clinical psychologist with a Master’s Degree from the University of the Western Cape, as well as a second Master’s Degree in Sociology from Freiburg University in Germany. Her PhD was granted by UCT in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health.

Having always specialised in working across disciplines, Tania has the experience of working for the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute in Germany, the Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch and in the Education Faculty at the University of the Western Cape. She has developed recognised expertise in HIV and AIDS education, with an emphasis on developing and researching better prevention interventions for young people, and training in this field, particularly in an African context. She has been the project leader in a number of donor-funded collaborative projects among sub-Saharan African countries. These have included developing and evaluating HIV and AIDS peer education programmes at universities in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Namibia and developing and offering blended learning programmes in a number of sub-Saharan African countries on how to train teachers to become HIV and AIDS educators.

Another of her interests is developing innovative approaches to addressing risk behaviour. These include the use of digital stories, development of posters, use of computer messaging and the use of interactive theatre to work in preventing the spread of HIV.