American futurist John Nesbitt, the author of the 1982 best-selling book “Big Trends” that was sold in dozens of countries, died on April 8 at the age of 92. His wife, Doris Nesbitt, said that in her Austrian residence, Nesbitt passed away in peace.
In the 1960s, Nesbitt visited China for the first time. This scholar has always been curious and looking forward to China’s development. In the past two to three decades, even though the Nesbits lived in Vienna, the Austrian capital, they visited China several times a year, and they also founded the Nesbit China Research Institute, an institution that studies China’s transformation.
On January 15, 1929, Nesbitt was born in Salt Lake City, USA. In his early years, he was involved in politics. In 1963, he was appointed by President Kennedy as Assistant Secretary of Education, and later he was hired as a special assistant to President Johnson. Since then, he founded an urban research company, used his own “content analysis” method to study American society, and sold the company’s regularly produced research reports to large companies and libraries. These research reports are the blueprint of the 14 million-volume “Mega Trends” book that sells worldwide.
This vision of the future is by no means a fiction. In fact, the working method of “content analysis” is to extensively collect daily newspapers from all over the world, sort and arrange the content of newspapers, establish indexes, and make analysis and comparison. Nesbitt always believes that major social changes are bottom-up. Through research and analysis of urban and rural changes, social development trends can be judged. He successfully predicted the rise of the Internet and the integration of the global economy.
The rapid changes in the world have inspired Nesbitt. He believes that people in today’s world must be forward-looking about the development of things. An example is FedEx, which has 1 billion mails every year-even in a small living space today. We are already facing a global village of information.
This scholar has been trying to figure out the main artery of the future society. He has published new works every year for nearly 20 years after the release of “Mega Trends”. He has always remained optimistic about the development prospects of Asia. In the “Asian Trends” co-authored with others in the past few years, he predicted that Asia will become the center of the world economy. Perhaps because of this, many Asians have a special affection for Nesbitt.
He has visited China more than one hundred times in his life. Based on decades of attention and concentrated research on China, he summarized the general trend of China’s development in “China Megatrends”-China is creating a new social, economic and political system, and its new economic model has promoted China To the leading position of the world economy. The political model may prove that capitalism, the so-called “end of history”, is only a stage in the path of human history. He said that the “Belt and Road” initiative will reshape the new pattern of globalization and is also an important force for stabilizing geopolitics and the national situation. He believes that the “Chinese model” will affect the entire world.
China’s development and changes are always in his vision. Ten years ago, Nesbitt came to China in his old age. He believes that China’s development focus in the next 30 years will be in the western region. He went to Chengdu for a year of investigation, discussed with local experts and scholars, visited a large number of enterprises, schools, art museums, and village committees in Chengdu, and interviewed farmers at homes, and finally published the book “Chengdu Survey”.
“I am not a prophet,” he once said, “I judge the future direction of the world based on the information I know.”