Dmitry Volkov (businessman)

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Dmitry Volkov
Дмитрий Волков
Dmitry Volkov
Dmitry Borisovich Volkov
NationalityRussian, Maltese[1]
EducationFaculty of History, Faculty of Philosophy
Moscow State University
Years active1976–present

Dmitry Volkov (Russian: Дмитрий Борисович Волков, born 9 July 1976, Moscow) is a Russian entrepreneur, investor, philosopher,[2] contemporary art collector, actor and philanthropist. He took part in various international M&A and private equity transactions in e-commerce. He is a co-founder of the Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies, the patron of the Tretyakov State Gallery Foundation[3] and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (since 2016), the President of Stewardship Foundation Arsenal Contemporary Art Museum.

In 1998, Volkov co-founded Social Discovery Ventures.[4][5][6]


Dmitry Volkov was born on July 9, 1976 in Moscow, Russia.[7] He graduated from MSU Faculty of History in 1998 and then completed a postgraduate course in International Relationship at IMEMO.[8] He graduated from Skolkovo Moscow School of Management with an Executive MBA degree.[9] In 2008 he passed the Ph.D defense, and in 2017 he has got a Ph.D in philosophy.[10]

In 1998 he co-founded Social Discovery Ventures together with his foreign colleagues, and in 2016 he founded SDV Arts and Science Foundation. He became a member of the Project Management Institute in 2001,[11] a member of User Experience Professionals Association in 2006[12] and a member of American Philosophy Association in 2014.

In 2014 and 2015 he participated in the Gumball 3000 rallies.[13][14] In 2015 as a representative of Social Discovery Ventures he won the SKOLKOVO Trend Award 2015 for effective negotiations, the award was given by professor Moty Cristal.[15]

In 2017 he was entered the list of 50 most influential people in Russian Contemporary Art according to the Artguide rating.[16]

In July 2018, Volkov organized a climbing expedition together with other successful Russian entrepreneurs to Mont Blanc (4,810m), the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe. The ascent was timed to coincide with Volkov’s birthday and was widely publicized.[17]

In September 2018 Volkov became a winner of the annual GQ “Man of the year” Award in the nomination “The Boss of the Year 2018".[18]

On 22 November 2018, Volkov became a winner of the Russian stage of the international competition EY Entrepreneur Of the Year 2018 in the category "Business Online".[19]


Volkov is a limited partner in venture capital funds and also serves as an expert and organizer of transactions for the sale of e-companies.[20] He is one of the first Blockchain technology investors in Russia.[21] In 2012 UsabilityLab and PayOnline companies, founded by Volkov, won the Runet Prize in the categories: “Innovations and Technologies” and “Economy, Business and Investments”.[22][23] In late 2015, he invested $3 million in the iTechCapital and 500 Startups funds,[20] after selling the online payment system Payonline to US company Net Element for $8.2 million. In 2017, he has invested $1 million in a new fund called Target Global ES Fund,[24] and in April 2017 he funded the private university Harbour Space.[25][26] He has also invested $1 million in, a social network of scholars.[27][28][29][30] In April 2018, Volkov and Yuri Gursky joined in with the Gagarin Capital asset management company as General Partners. Amount of liabilities of the new partners equaled to $6 mln within the total dedicated volume of the fund which amounts to $55 mln.[31][32][33] In December 2018 Volkov invested $ 900 thousand in US FemTech market leader Flo Health.[34][35][36]

Artistic activities[edit]

Films and music[edit]

In 2015 Volkov and his SDV Arts & Science Foundation organized the Street Piano Festival in Moscow. The following year the festival continued as the Transcendental Pianos Festival, held in September, from 16 to 18, 2016 in the Muzeon Park of arts. At the opening ceremony, Volkov performed together with Igor Butman, Olya Kroytor, Vladimir Nesterenko, Oleg Akkuratov, Anton Baronin, Polina Osetinskaya and Valery Grokhovsky playing pianos.[37]

Performance art[edit]

In 2015 Volkov supported the publication of a series of “Contemporary Art” albums focusing on the works of contemporary Russian artists and their role in the context of Russian and world culture development. The albums were presented during the events with participation of the artists: Oleg Kulik, Vinogradov & Dubosarsky. Together with Oleg Kulik, Volkov organized the performance in St. Petersburg “Proof of the existence of the External World”. In the summer of 2015, Volkov organized an expedition with Social Discovery Ventures’ employees to the Burning Man, where he presented his art project with Oleg Kulik – the OraculeTang robot-monkey. In the summer of 2017, he returned to the Burning Man festival together with the famous Russian artist Andrey Bartenev. They presented a joint project “Alliens? Yes!” that consisted of four alien figures from four to 12 meters and an alien parade. The project was rated by Business Insider as one of the wildest arts at Burning man.[38][39]

In 2015, Volkov arranged a pop-up exhibition of contemporary technological art titled “Superconduction: the challenge of art & technology” in Riga which was devoted to the new company’s office and coworking space opening in the heart of the city. In 2016, Volkov became a co-founder of the SDV Arts & Science Foundation established by SDVentures. The Foundation is aimed to support & initiate projects in the field of contemporary art & philosophy. In the same year, the Foundation became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Tretyakov Gallery Support Fund. Among supported projects in the State Tretyakov Gallery during that year was the “Modern Art 1960-2000: Restart” exhibition and the “Leonid Sokov Unforgettable Meetings” exhibition.[40]

Since 2016, Volkov has become a patron of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.[41] In 2016/2017, the SDV Arts & Science Foundation headed by Volkov became the official partner of the annual scholarship of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art for Russian emerging artists and established its own grant “Art and Technology” for those artists who worked at the intersection of science and technology. As a part of the grant programme, the SDV Arts & Science Foundation held the art residence for the granted artists in Riga, in its co-working OraculeTang Space.

In March 2017, Volkov took part in "The Secret Millionaire" TV show on the Pyatnitsa (Friday) TV channel. The TV show involved rich people in a social project aimed at searching for people or projects that need financial support in the Russian regions.[42]

One of the projects that gained support from Volkov appeared to be Arsenal, the branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Nizhny Novgorod. Since May 2017, Volkov has been the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fund "Cultural Capital of the Volga Region". The Fund is a strategic partner of the Volga-Vyatka Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts forming part of the State Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSIZO of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation (Arsenal).[43][44]

In 2017 Volkov made another contribution to "Burning man". He presented a co-project with Andrey Bartenev "Aliens? - Yes!" - four alien figures from 4 to 12 meters and an alien parade.[45]

On 4th of November 2018, at the Night of Arts, Volkov took part in the art performance “Dmitry Volkov and Artists” at the State gallery on Solyanka. The art performance became a part of «The Small Button» project by Fyodor Pavlov-Andreyevich. The performance consisted of a continuous five-hour conversation between Dmitry Volkov and Russian artists, whose works are in the SDV Arts & Science Foundation collection, among them: Irina Zatulovskaya, Andrey Bartenev, Vladimir Dubosarsky, Pavel Pepershtein, Liza Morozova, Polina Kanis, Ivan Gorshkov, Dmitry Gutov and Diana Machulina. The themes of the 30-minute dialogues with the artists were: death, pleasure, pain, sex, jealousy, cruelty, adoration, envy, forgiveness and anger. Arbitrators moderated the dialogues by pressing a special button. The following persons participated as arbitrators: Zelfira Tregulova, director of the Tretyakovskaya Gallery, Alina Saprykina, director of the Moscow Museum, Alisa Prudnikova, director of regional development at Rosizo , and Sergey Popov, director of the Pop / Off / Art gallery.[46][47][48]

Science studies[edit]


In 2008 Volkov passed the Ph.D. defense on theme of "Daniel Dennet's theory of consciousness".[8] In 2009 he co-founded Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies in Moscow State University; this center assists and supports Russian researchers of consciousness and analytical philosophy. In 2012, Volkov published a book Boston Zombie: D. Dennet and his Theory of Consciousness.[4] He mounted philosophical expedition in Greenland in summer 2014, which was related to the "problem of free will in analytical philosophy".[5] Volkov and Dennet organized debates on consciousness phenomenon.[20] In August 2017, Volkov became one of the initiators of the dialogue between Russian scientists and the 14th Dalai Lama on consciousness. The meeting took place in Delhi.[49][50][51]

In March, 2017, Volkov participated as the opponent of Tatyana Chernigovskaya in a discussion about artificial intelligence.[52][53]

A co-director of The Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies (MCСS), Dmitry Volkov is the organizer of an international philosophy summer school. The school comprises intensive workshops and lectures with world-famous experts in cognitive science, free will and moral responsibility. The philosophy summer school has taken place every two years since 2014. The first summer school was led by Prof. John Fisher and was devoted to the theme of free will and moral responsibility. The second summer school took place in 2016 in Riga with renowned expert Derk Pereboom, focusing on the correlation between free will and consciousness. The 2018 summer school was held in Malta at the private residence of the president of Malta, where participants discussed the subject of personal identity with the distinguished Oxford professor Richard Swinburne.[54][55]

Research and main ideas[edit]

With regard to the history of contemporary philosophy of mind, Volkov expanded Daniel Dennett's theory of consciousness. In the book “Boston Zombie: Daniel Dennett's Theory of Consciousness” he stated that Daniel Dennett's multiple-drafts model is not verifiable and thus cannot be an empirical hypothesis. He also pointed to the disagreement between the multiple-drafts model and the more recent Daniel Dennett's tenet of “Fame in the Brain”. He suggested a detailed interpretation of the “Two Black Boxes” and “Where Am I?” thought experiments. In terms of analytic philosophy, Volkov developed a narrative theory of freedom and moral responsibility. He identified the dependence of free will and moral responsibility issues on the mental causation, determinism and personal identity subproblems. He presented the “Library of First Editions” thought experiment as a counterexample for Jaegwon Kim's causal exclusion argument. In the article “What Does Pereboom's Manipulation Argument Prove” he criticized Derk Pereboom’s ideas in detail and gave additional scenarios of “manipulation”. Volkov developed a solution to the “disappearing agent objection” using the four-dimensional view of person. He criticized V. Vasilyev’s argument from the causal trajectories using the alternative “Twin Argument” in the article “Does V. Vasilyev’s Argument from the Causal Trajectories Refute Local Supervenience of Mental Properties upon Physical Properties?”. Volkov systematized the requirements for the narrative which may be the basis for conviction that a single personality extended in time exists. He defended supercompatibilism in terms of free will and moral responsibility, according to which freedom and responsibility are compatible both with determinism and indeterminism. He took part in the debate over free will, moral responsibility, modern and classical compatibilism with V. Vasilyev organized by the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences. He is one of the organizers of a cognitive cruise with the leading neuroscientist S. Dean and the philosopher D. Dennett. He is among the initiators of publishing a series of “Philosophy of Mind” books by Editorial URSS, a Russian scientific literature publishing house. He is an advocate of modern analytic philosophy methods.[56][57] [58]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ieva Treija (2016-05-08). "Interview with Dmitry Volkov: SD Ventures opens a co-working space in Riga and continues to invest in unique online brands". EU Startups.
  3. ^ Foundation Stewardship Council
  4. ^ a b Дмитрий Волков
  5. ^ a b В поисках чистого разума: зачем российский бизнесмен собрал философскую экспедицию
  6. ^ Company Overview of Social Discovery Ventures
  7. ^ "Social Discovery Ventures". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  8. ^ a b Dmitry Volkov (in Russian)
  9. ^ Dmitry Volkov about trends in hi-tech field (in Russian)
  10. ^ Dmitry Volkov: "The inspiration and critical thinking are the foundation for innovations" (in Russian)
  11. ^ Project Management
  12. ^ Dmitry Satin and Dmitry Volkov about User Experience on YouTube
  14. ^
  15. ^ Press-release at the site of Skolkovo Moscow School of Management
  16. ^ Топ-50 самых влиятельных фигур в российском искусстве 2017 года
  17. ^ «В этом увидели непобедимый русский дух»
  18. ^ Boss года: Дмитрий Волков
  19. ^ Подведены итоги национального этапа конкурса EY «Предприниматель года 2018» в России
  20. ^ a b c Дмитрий Волков: «Философия делает этот мир уютнее». GQ. 10 Апреля 2016 Г. (in Russian)
  21. ^ SDVENTURES to invest more than $1 million in TARGET GLOBAL (in Russian)
  22. ^ Вчера в Москве состоялось вручение престижной Премии Рунета за вклад в развитие российского вебпространства
  23. ^ Культурный код: Зачем инвестор Дмитрий Волков вкладывается в искусство
  24. ^ SDVentures will invest $1 млн in Target Global, a new foundation of early investitions
  25. ^ SD VENTURES invested into priveat university HARBOUR.SPACE
  26. ^ The Russian investor told Commersant about the only European programmers training camp (in Russian)
  27. ^ OraculeTangSpace – Stage for international dialogue on Bitcoin
  29. ^ Harbour.Space University Receives Financing From Social Discovery Ventures
  30. ^ Cultural code, or why an investor Dmitry Volkov invests in art (in Russian)
  31. ^ Юрий Гурский и Дмитрий Волков присоединились к управлению Gagarin Capital
  32. ^ Юрий Гурский и Дмитрий Волков присоединились к Gagarin Capital
  33. ^ Ю. Гурский и Д. Волков присоединились к команде Gagarin Capital
  34. ^ SDVentures Joints Series A Round in US FemTech Market Leader Flo Health
  35. ^ Календарь менструаций, овуляций и беременности Flo привлек $900 тыс. от фонда SDVentures
  36. ^ SDVentures вложил $900 тысяч в приложение для женщин Flo
  37. ^ Don't shoot the piano
  38. ^ Don't shoot the piano
  39. ^ Baitel, Shai (27 October 2015). "Interactive Performance Art/ificial Intelligence — Robotic Ape Comes to BAM". Huffington Post.
  40. ^ Young artist support program
  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^ [2]
  43. ^ [3]
  44. ^ [4]
  45. ^ The most wild and incredible art at Burning Man 2017
  46. ^ Перформанс The Small Button в Галерее на Солянке —
  47. ^ Ночные БДения в Галерее на Солянке
  48. ^ Ночные БДения в Галерее на Солянке
  49. ^ Second Day of Dialogue between Russian and Buddhist Scholars
  50. ^ Recruitment is successful
  51. ^ Dalai Lama and Russian scientists combine the efforts of searching the happiness for everyone
  52. ^ Дмитрий Волков об искусственном интеллекте
  53. ^ Дмитрий Волков vs Татьяна Черниговская: как мы можем прийти к сверхразуму и правда ли, что человек — это машина
  54. ^ Российские и зарубежные философы поспорят на Мальте о личности, душе и боге
  55. ^ Президент Мальты пригласила философов из России на дискуссию во дворец
  56. ^
  57. ^ Sweet Dreams. Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness
  58. ^ [5]

External links[edit]