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midweek Connect: 10/27/21 ~ Cultural Leapfrogging

Greetings and Happy Midweek!

Did you ever play leapfrog? It’s a game where one person stoops over and the other leaps over their back - like a frog jumping from lily pad to pad. Well, to end the month, I thought we’d have some fun with leapfrogging this week - connecting what began as a game over a century ago and has become a term and a process for socio-cultural innovation and development.

In our Global SKILLs PROACTive strategies model, leapfrogging is a perfect example of the Transformational aspect of strategic cross-cultural dynamics.* It’s in fact well worth our serious consideration, whether it’s child’s play (learning to work together to make progress toward the ‘finish line’) or it’s economic innovation on an international level which can introduce culture change through sustainably equitable development.

One experience I had with leapfrogging happened over 25 years ago when I was living in Dakar, a vibrant city on the West Coast of Africa. At the time, few residences had a landline telephone. Limited infrastructure meant people often had to wait months or longer to get one installed. Making local phone calls involved going to a roadside boutique or shack with a public pay phone. Making international calls required going downtown to the central post office.

So, when we finally got a phone line into our home, we were thrilled. One day, we called our plumber with a service need, and he mentioned he was in the hospital. We expressed concern, wondering also that he was able to have even answered the phone, knowing phones were in very short supply in places like hospitals. He replied that he was talking on his cell phone! We were so surprised because for us, landlines were the norm...but we soon found out that local friends and colleagues (most of whom never had a landline) were leapfrogging over that soon-to-be-replaced technology by using the ‘new’, increasingly accessible, technology of cell phones.

Leapfrogging - it’s happening globally these days at a pace perhaps never before seen…

How about you ~ what is a cultural example of leapfrogging which you have encountered?

Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for more leapfrogging details and examples.

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,


* PROACTive Learning Strategies: PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgram

ACT = Application, Collaboration and Transformation (which we looked at today)

~ contact me for more information on these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming


~ an explanation of what I experienced back in the mid-1990s with phones:

~ leapfrogging impact on community :

~ and from a historical perspective - early examples of the original game of leapfrog ( ) into the 21st century ( )

2021 ~ Celebrating 40 years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community

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