Sci-Fi Writing Workshop
29.03.2021 - 10.05.2021
Thank you for participating in our workshop. We hope that you will enjoy it and that we can create something wonderful together. What follows is an explanation of our intentions and a guide for your writing process.
The scientific foundation - the mise-en-scène
Based on realistic projections, we offer you four possible futures to develop your story in. Ideally, there will be an even distribution of participants over the four futures, but we need a minimum of 3 participants for each world. We will ask you to tell us which world you choose before you begin writing.
The general projection
The year is 2080
The population of Brussels has grown significantly, the region has merged with its surrounding cities into a real metropolitan area. Some of this growth is due to the migration of people from parts of the world that are facing extreme drought or flooding due to climate change. As such, the population of Brussels is a mix of Belgians, immigrants and climate refugees.
Since 2052, Belgium has stopped using traditional energy sources and relies only on renewable energy, but climate change has driven the world beyond a 2°C temperature rise, and heat waves and heavy rainfall challenge everyone throughout the year. Summer days are often unbearably hot and snow in Belgium is a rarity. The housing stock in Brussels is old and cannot protect residents from this extreme weather. Climate change has changed the foods that can be grown in Belgium and has caused a decrease in biodiversity.
Farmers have been struggling for the last few decades - due to rising heat, their yields are often low. Mobility has been revolutionized by the introduction of autonomous shared electric vehicles that bring you anywhere on demand, and parking is a thing from the past.
Four alternative futures
The more uncertain predictions, mostly political, are interpreted differently in four scenarios. We use two axes to make the distinctions:
Axis 1: The priorities in recent years - nature development vs urban development;
Axis 2: Governance of public space - citizen led vs state led.
Scientific turning point
Here, ecological, technological, and/or societal problems introduce a tension to the story that the characters must navigate > (to be decided)
Impacts on people and nature
This turning point is explored via the plot and action within the world. After the authors of the short story describe the world and the characters, they describe how the scientific turning point brings about change and impacts the character’s lives.
Human turning point
Interacting with the plot and action is the Human turning point, which illustrates how humanity does not simply react to the changes, but rather interacts with the changes. The authors choose this, and describe this in their story.
Finally, since the goal of SciFi prototyping is to learn something new about potential futures in the system of interest, it is central upon finishing the scenario(s), to have a period of reflection, reporting-out, and learning.
There are multiple steps in the reporting process. The organizers review the stories, illustrate them, and publish them online. The participants (among others) can read the stories. Please let us know if you do not want us to share your story publicly. A while after, a video-conference takes place with the participants for a discussion. The main goal is to share the experience of thinking about future developments and indicate which future developments are desirable and usable in the scenario workshop.