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Created by Sam Berry, Ninah Kopel, Phillip Cooke, Cathie Walsh, Anna Vrachas and Jasmin Vrachas.

Community 2040

The object before you is a typical example of a Bottom Up Jar from circa 2037. The idea behind Bottom Up Jars was local communities coming together to solve problems. They generally consisted of a recycled jar with slips of paper, each containing a person’s name and skills. This was used to create thousands of tiny micro-communities formed to tackle local problems from the bottom up. These micro-communities came together, solved the problems at hand and then dissipated.

One of the main factors that led to the advent of this ‘low fi’ paper-based movement were the great energy shocks of 2031, after China rapidly exited all of its coal import deals with Australia in 2029. This left Australia in dire economic and social straits. Access to reliable electricity supplies was a thing of the past by 2030.

In 2030, a community group in Sydney developed the Bottom Up Jar concept as a paper-based backup during their weekly bout of power supply loss. They shared the Bottom Up Jar process with community groups across Australia. The movement quickly picked up pace as energy instability intensified during the record-breaking summer of 2032.


The slogan for the Bottom Up Jar movement was: “a million of these will solve all our problems”. This was seen in action during the devastating Brisbane floods in 2038, which saw the entire Brisbane basin inundated, leaving more than 850,000 home uninhabitable. Despite these dire conditions, a network of local community groups was able to quickly deploy the Bottom Up Jar process across the entire affected area, resulting in the establishment of evacuation centres, networks of people offering temporary accommodation and food, and deployment of salvage teams within the first 24 hours.

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