, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 229-249
Date: 12 Aug 2005

The narrative aspect of scenario building - How story telling may give people a memory of the future

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Abstract

Scenarios are flexible means to integrate disparate ideas, thoughts and feelings into holistic images, providing the context and meaning of possible futures. The application of narrative scenarios in engineering, development of socio-technical systems or communities provides an important link between general ideas and specification of technical system requirements. They focus on how people use systems through context-related storytelling rather than abstract descriptions of requirements. The quality of scenarios depends on relevant assumptions and authentic scenario stories. In this article, we will explore how the narrative approach may enrich the scenario ‘skeleton’ with ‘flesh and blood’, that is, living, detailed and consistent storytelling. In addition, criteria are suggested for evaluation of the quality of scenario storytelling.