Participatory energy scenario development as dramatic scripting: A structural narrative analysis

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Drawing on 46 low carbon, backcasted energy scenarios produced with stakeholders in 14 European cities, we illustrate the value of structural narrative analysis for illuminating the dynamics of participatory scenario processes. We show that despite tight technological structuring, the experience of the scenario participants has commonalities with dramatic scripting. These commonalities include: specific characterisation; the development of internally consistent, plausible plots that parallel character development; the construction of plot sequences; and emotional engagement by the writers, who themselves undergo processes of struggle, learning and increased awareness. We suggest that these parallels provide a way of thinking about scenario process design, as dramatic scripting. We particularly focus on the characterisation of 'the public' by the scenario participants, involving a variety of assumptions about likely human behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2016