Original Article


, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 229-249

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

  • Lauge Baungaard RasmussenAffiliated withDepartment of Manufacturing Engineering and Management, Technical University of Demark Email author 

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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.


Scenario stories Narrative approach Story-telling techniques Socio-technical systems Community strategy formation