City girl Ishita Katyal, who made history by becoming the youngest Indian to speak at TED Youth Network in New York last year, is set for another milestone after being invited in the main TED event in Vancouver (Canada) February 15. The 10-year-old writer will be one of the seven speakers to deliver a speech in the first session of the event, titled ‘Our Tomorrow’, which will be hosted by Chris Anderson, British entrepreneur and a curator of TED.
Apart from Katyal, the eminent speakers in the first session include musician and composer AR Rahman, scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini, author and inventor Astro Teller, choreographer Bill T Jones, writer Shonda Rhimes and charity defender Dan Pallotta.
Katyal came into limelight after she organised a TEDx talk at her school Vibgyor High, Balewadi, last February. In July, she participated in an event organised by TEDx Bhilwara, where she spoke on ‘Why You Don’t Have to Wait Till You Grow Up.’ It was followed by a four-minute speech on Children’s Day at TED Youth Conference in New York, where she spoke on ‘What do you want to be now,’ challenging the system which thinks children are too small to make any difference.
This will be another big opportunity for Ishita to speak among 72 eminent personalities of the world, which include three other speakers of Indian origin; Rahman, International Relations expert and best-selling author Parag Khanna and Amit Sood, director of Google’s Cultural Institute and Arts project. At the event, her topic will be ‘Stop asking kids what they want to do when they grow up — ask what they want to do right now.’
Ishita wrote her first book ‘Simran’s Diary’ when she was just eight years old. The book’s protagonist, Simran, was also an eight year old girl looking to fulfill her dreams. She is currently writing her second book.