Started in 2011, the Cracking the Nut® conferences are participatory learning events designed to crack the “tough nuts” in international development.

Traditionally, the conference has relied on a mix of private and public sector ideas to address the most pressing challenges in agricultural value chains and facilitating access to finance, as well as addressing concerns about related issues, such as food security. In 2016, we leveraged our success in utilizing business approaches in development to expand to the area of global health. For more information on the conferences, please see below.

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Cracking the Nut 2017 took place in March 27-28, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. It focused on reinforcing food systems to meet urban demand.  It raised awareness of the  changing demographics impacting global demand and supply for food, and highlighted how food systems are transforming, linking rural to urban markets, and responding to changing food preferences, especially in urban areas. For more information, visit:  Or join our Cracking the Nut Newsletter here.

The first-ever Cracking the Nut Health conference brought almost 200 participants from 25 countries to discuss mHealth innovations, the role of frontline health workers, private sector engagement, data access and ownership, and many more thought-provoking quandaries in this ever changing world. The Cracking the Nut Health 2016 Publication can be found here.  Sign up to receive notification of its release.  Connexus welcomes your ideas for future themes and venues. Please contact to make suggestions or to participate in next year’s Advisory Committee or sign up for our mailing list here.


Cracking the Nut Publications

Following every Cracking the Nut conference, Connexus writes a publication which synthesizes the main lessons learned and highlights innovative approaches and technologies presented at the conference. Below are links to past publications.







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