For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

CEHD and U of M Word Marks


206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Arthur Harkins

Associate professor; Director of Leapfrog Institutes

310J WullH
86 Pleasant St S E

Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1968, sociology and anthropology
M.A., University of Massachusetts, 1963, sociology
B.A., University of Kansas, 1959, sociology and abnormal psychology


Areas of Interest

Defining relationships among information-, knowledge-, and innovation-based learning
Development of knowledge and innovation based learning organization formats for higher education
Development of cell- and network-supported learning formats for knowledge-based personal and organizational leadership
Development of the "personal culture" and “personal capital” constructs in the formation of innovative microcultures within and across institutions and organizations
Development of “virtual selves” construct for conducting self-evolution
Continuing development of guided story-telling as a method for diagnosis, vision, leadership and culture design in complex organizations
Developing several new simulation techniques to complement the StoryTech process


I am particularly interested in the relationship among three things: technology, education, and the workforce. I arrived at this point after a fairly unusual background that includes working on high-tech military projects in two military services, obtaining a doctorate in sociology with a strong emphasis in cultural anthropology, and pursuing a long-standing interest in futures studies.

One of the projects I have been involved with is StoryTech, a controlled imagination process I invented while studying the Shinto religion. The technique, which has proved to be an effective tool for teaching, research and consulting, involves story telling using alterable variables. I am involved in a cross-college certificate in innovation studies. The certificate, one of the first of its kind in the nation, will help the University prepare “innovation workers.” Somewhat related is my work in the area of “distributed competence,” which involves preparing for an experiential, non-formal education future in which students have the capacity to instantaneously perform new functions with the help of continuous software downloads to portable devices. I believe the coming shift away from the language of education to the language of non-formal education and innovation will revolutionize human capital development, in the sense that different skills will be needed to function effectively as a student, teacher or administrator. I have been assisting in the development of a new graduate program, global youth policy and leadership. I have been fortunate to co-develop Leapfrog Institutes, an OLPD and CEHD program to help promote pilot projects and policy development focused on non-formal education, innovation, and the use of advanced handheld learning devices. Finally, I am continuously working to develop improved approaches to self innovation: How does one deal proactively with a fast-moving, continuously innovating environment? To this end, I have produced several simulation techniques for use in concert with StoryTech: DramaTech, TimeSynch, and EthnoTech.

I enjoy working with both undergraduates and graduates within a seminar format. I am delighted to teach courses on knowledge systems, cultural models and simulations, and innovative systems thinking in OLPD’s comparative and international development education graduate program. I work with Dr. John Moravec on the further development of the Leapfrog Institutes, an international collaborative to help children, youth, and families transition to 21st century knowledge and innovation economies. With Dr. Moravec and Dr. Cristobal Cobo, FLACSO-Mexico, I am working on the development of 1) collaborative co-seminars on knowledge production and applications; and 2) the futures of South American and North American youth. With Moravec and Cobo, I am also helping to develop a new initiative under the label, Leapfrog Laboratory, collaboratively developed between FLACSO and Minnesota. Moravec and I are beginning work on applications of Leapfrog Institutes within the US, China, and Pakistan, including the development of co-seminars on knowledge and youth futures.


Teaching Excellence Award, College of Continuing Education (2000)

Selected Publications

  1. Harkins A. M. & Moravec, J. W. (2011). Systemic approaches to knowledge development and application. On The Horizon, 19(2), 127-133.

  2. Harkins, A. M. & Kubik, G. H. (2010). "Ethical” cheating in formal education. On The Horizon, 18(2), 138-146.

  3. Harkins, A. M., Kubik, G., & Moravec. J. (2008). Creative time synchronizations: Proximal and grounded pasts, presents, and futures. Theory of Science, XXI, pp. 143-158.

  4. Harkins, A. M. (2008). Leapfrog principles and practices: Core components of education 3.0 and 4.0. Futures Research Quarterly, 24(1).

  5. Harkins, A. M. (translated reprint of above, in press). Anqing Teachers College, China.

  6. Harkins, A., Moravec, J. and Kubik, G. (2006). Facilitating 21st century education: Leapfrogging culture and time through simulational learning. Global Leapfrog Education, 1(1), 15-22.

  7. Harkins, A., & Kubik, G. (2006). StoryTech: A personalized guidebook to the 21st century. ISBN 0-9787434-0-7

  8. Harkins, A. & Kubik, G. (2006). Leapfrogging toward the "singularity:" Innovative knowledge production on market-driven campuses. On The Horizon, 14(6), pp. 99-107.

  9. Harkins, A, Vitaskova, A., & Mollberg, L.B. (2005). Strategies for innovation in tertiary education: Producing mode III knowledge & personal capital. Theory of Science, XIV/XXVII, 1/2005, 69-88.

  10. Harkins, A., & Kubik, G. (2002). After competency: Performance base innovation. On The Horizon, (9)6.

  11. Harkins, A., & Kubik, G. (2002). Legacy-based thinking II: Resisting new tools and competencies. On The Horizon, (9)5.

  12. Harkins, A. (2003). Re-missioning higher education for knowledge and innovation: Supporting the leadership roles of all individuals. Theory of Science, XII (XXV) 3, 45-58.

  13. Harkins, A. (2003). In their dreams: Paradigm alternatives and the marketing of responsive educational services. On The Horizon, (11) 1.

  14. Harkins, A. (2003). The futures of career and technical education in a continuous innovation society. Journal of Vocational Education Research, 27(1).

  15. Harkins, A., & Kubik, G. (2002). The costs of legacy-based thinking: Retro-preparation for the industrial age. On The Horizon, (9)4.

Selected Presentations

  1. Harkins, A. M. & Moravec, J. W. (2008, May 23-24). Leapfrog education. Invited lecture presented at Destination ImagiNation Global Finals 2008, Knoxville, TN.

  2. Harkins, A. M. & Moravec, J. W. (2008, February 12). Designing education for sustainable innovation: Anticipating the Singularity. Invited keynote lecture presented at Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Administrators Winter Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

  3. Harkins, A. M. & Moravec, J. W. (2008, January 15). The LeapFrog principles. Testimony delivered to E-12 Education Committee Working Group on High School Redesign, Minnesota State Legislature, St. Paul, MN.

  4. Harkins, A. M. & Moravec, J. W. (2007, November 23). Youth futures: Leapfrogging from century 18 to century 21. Invited lecture presented at Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China.

  5. Harkins, A. M. & Moravec, J. W. (2007, November 10). Constructing a 21st century education paradigm. Lecture presented at Saturday Scholars, University of Minnesota.

  6. Harkins, A. M. Higher education in the knowledge and innovation economy: Evolving toward leapfrog campuses. Paper presented at "La Universidad en México en el Año 2030: Imaginando Futuros Conference," Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico.

  7. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2007, November 10). Constructing a 21st century education paradigm. Lecture presented at Saturday Scholars, University of Minnesota.

  8. Harkins, A. M. (2007, October 31). La experiencia norteamericana del seminario internacional: Evolving a Co-Seminar on Knowledge for Innovation. The North American experience in an international seminar: “From Information to Innovative Knowledge”. Presentation at "FLACSO 50th Anniversary Conference, Quito, Ecuador. [Presentation made by Dr. John Moravec in my absence due to illness.]

  9. Harkins, A. M., Moravec, J. W., & Kubik, G. (2007, July 31). Youth futures: Projecting the roles of disruptive technologies, anticipatory knowledge, and continuous innovation. Paper and workshop presented at "World Future Society annual conference," Minneapolis, MN.

  10. Harkins, A. M. (2007, July 29). The potential roles of PCC in advantaging the futures of children and youth. Presentation and workshop presented at the Pacific Circle Consortium annual conference, Honolulu, Hawaii.

  11. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2007, May 31). Designing education for sustainable innovation: Anticipating the singularity. Invited paper presented at the Journal of Teacher Education and Training Conference, University of Debrecen, Hungary.

  12. Harkins, A. M. (2007, April 19). Creating a global role for teacher leadership: Children and youth in leapfrog collaboratives. Invited keynote paper presented at International Conference on Teacher Education, Anqing Teachers College, Anhui, China.

  13. Harkins, A. M. (2007, March 12). Toward a new expression of study abroad: co-developing synchronous/asynchronous knowledge seminars between FLACO-Mexico and the University of Minnesota. Invited presentation at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales [Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences], Mexico City, Mexico.

  14. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2007, February 27). CEHD futures: Curricular horizons in the Leapfrog University. Poster session presentation at the "2007 Research Day," College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota.

  15. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2007, January 25). Leapfrogging to the future. Invited poster session presentation at the 2007 Quality Fair, University of Minnesota.

  16. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2006, October 16). Freshman student knowledge production and its innovative potentials. Paper presented at the "Focusing on the First-Year Conference," University of Minnesota.

  17. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2006, July 13). Facilitating transformative education: Redesigning time and culture in simulational curricula. Paper presented at the "Pacific Circle Consortium 30th Annual Conference," Mexico City, Mexico.

  18. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2006, May 31). Meaningful knowledge production by 21st century youth. Paper presented at the "Second International Conference on Youth and Education for the 21st Century," Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.

  19. Harkins, A. M., & Moravec, J. W. (2006, July 13). Facilitating transformative education: Redesigning time and culture in simulational curricula. Paper presented at the "Pacific Circle Consortium 30th Annual Conference," Mexico City, Mexico.

  20. Harkins, A. M. & Moravec, J. W. (2006). Facilitating transformative education: Redesigning time and culture in simulational curricula. Paper presented at the Pacific Circle Consortium 30th Annual Conference, Mexico City, Mexico.