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Leapfrogging - a nice definition
Alex Steffen, 1 Oct 04

We're big on leapfrogging here, but I've felt we've lacked a sharp, concise definition of the concept and its import. The Wuppertal Institute has just provided a definition that's pretty close:

Key question: How are fairer living conditions possible without making resource consumption explode?

The term "leapfrogging" describes the rapid change made by a society or a company to a higher level of development without going through the intermediate stages observed in other cases. This connects with the idea that economic resources for unsustainable fossil technologies can be saved and thus the country can invest these resources directly in a sustainable future, instead of in infrastructure that will soon become obsolete. Ecological leapfrogging can be an alternative to development-as-catching up. It provides strategies to directly enter the phase of sustainability without going through the resource-intensive production and consumption models of industrial societies.

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