As you drive away from Qiryat Gat, past a sign saying “Gaza — 2 km,” and continue south, the scenery turns brown and dry. This is the Negev, a desert expanse that makes up almost 60 percent of the country but houses a mere 8 percent of its residents. Frohman is planning his next venture here. In the next few years, he plans to open the Center for Different Thinking, a grassroots think tank aimed at incubating unconventional solutions to some of the world’s most intractable problems. Ultimately, Frohman wants the center to become part of a global web of brainstorming entities targeted toward the younger generation.
The idea for the center has been percolating for some time, he says, and was driven by the realization that young people in Israel are “too focused on their own circumference.”
Frohman says he is inspired by Bertrand Russell, who wrote: “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd. Indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”
Frohman adds, “Since conformity is so deeply entrenched in society, the main focus should be on changing the culture to one that is tolerant of dissent, mavericks, oddballs, and ‛naysayers.’”
Although he doesn’t know what solutions will come out of this new venture, or exactly how to get it off the ground, Frohman isn’t worried. He believes, once again, that it is a risk worth taking.
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- Paula Margulies is a writer specializing in the Middle East and international affairs. She is the New York correspondent for the Jerusalem Report and a consulting writer at the United Nations.