A growing, international network of researchers and policymakers, clustered around a central hub at the International Livestock Research Institute (Nairobi, Kenya) has been developing a new wave of policy innovations and research on the pastoralist livelihood on the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) of East Africa. Perhaps the best-known example is the index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) product that has leveraged productive relationships between the research community, private sector, government and international development community. What interventions can be effective in buttressing the pastoralist livelihood given new realities around land use, conflict, climate, and infrastructure on the ASALs? How can markets be strengthened to fill development gaps? What is the relationship between pastoralists and their environment, and how can innovations be developed with long-run sustainability in mind? We aim to bring together as much of this international network together as possible, to share the growing wave of results, exchange ideas, and explore new partnerships and innovations, in a collegial environment with plenty of opportunity for interaction and discussions.