NEAR FUTURE SCENARIO
Research for a character-based
Near-future scenarios are used to determine likely outcomes of future risks or markets by following fictive protagonists and using their circumstances to guide research. These kinds of models are commonly used to inform investments, marketing and for security agencies to better hone their services, products and intersectoral collaborations.
Carrie Hampel has used near-future scenario models for in-depth research into the most likely outcomes of dwindling resources and climate change. She has tracked world events to their most domestic consequences on suburban life in our now unfolding crises.
Here, research has been focused on the transition period into the end of the fossil fuel era with regards to fossil fuel resources, economy, climate, environment, industries, technology and energy (specifically with regards to transport).
The near-future scenario research and modelling began in 2005 and has since predicted the current energy and climate crises with a view to probable solutions and risks. Hampel's interest in electric mobility, the hydrogen economy and its value for hard-to-decarbonise sectors, as well as the geopolitical importance of circular economy in, for example, electric vehicle batteries has proved invaluable in her journalistic insights as well as a novel and non-fiction book currently in progress.
A work of near-future fiction in progress about the end of the oil age
The story follows a middle-class family of four from the perspective of the mother, Margaret, who is a community nurse and neighbourhood networker. As she rises to the challenges of the crises in the neighbourhood and at work, her husband Robert flounders as his small bulldozing business lags and fails. Their grown children find their first roles and adult challenges in a world of conflating crises.
Although the real-life location of the family is not disclosed, specific location-related research has been vital in order to crystalise specific challenges under real conditions that in turn shed light on suburban areas the world over.
The novel has undergone numerous drafts over the years, all following research, but through the perspectives of different characters. The current draft is the result of many years of not only learning to use near-future research as it turns into current affairs but in writing a rocking story with a convincing and absorbing narrative voice.