October 20, 2015
Businessman and philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan stated that he considers his main task to be overcoming mistrust in society “to help people understand each other more”. Ruben Vardanyan has said this in his interview with Istanbul Agos newspaper.
Agos tert - Projects about Armenian history and culture have a remarkable place in 14th Istanbul Biennale that is titled “Salt Water”. Dilijan Art Initiative, which is founded by Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonaben in order to support the cultural development of Dilijan city and Armenia, supports these important projects about the Armenians in Biennial.
One of the prominent figures of Armenian Diaspora, Russian investment banker Ruben Vardanyan is an important entrepreneur and philanthropist. IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) that he founded with his wife Veronika Zonabend has the purpose of creating a bright future and a comfortable life style in Armenia with long-term projects. The international school established in Dilijan which has students from 64 countries and “Tatel Revival” which has the purpose of facilitating the cultural and economic development in and around Tatev are the most important projects that were realized by this foundation.
Vardanyan is the co-founder of “100 LIVES” project which is one of the most remarkable events of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Developed with the support of Hollywood stars like George Clooney and human rights activists, this project focuses on the stories of “rescuers” and “survivors”.
I asked Vardanyan, who says that imagining and believing in oneself is the first step of success, how he manages to create a common culture for the future of humanity by carrying the weight of his own history as an international figure in the business world, he replied that his only secret is “to look to the future with basing himself on the past.” We talked to him about his observations about Istanbul, which he visited for the first time, and his new projects.