Our Changing Planet

Our Changing Planet is a fascinating, brand new gallery at Thinktank.

At a time when climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the planet, this exciting new gallery looks at how humans have transformed the world and how these changes are affecting wildlife and the environment across the globe.

Our Changing Planet explores the long history of humanity’s influence on the planet, a time referred to by many experts as the Anthropocene - the word comes from the Greek words for human ('anthropo') and new ('cene').

The gallery contains two areas each focussing on a different aspect of the Anthropocene.

When did the Anthropocene start?

In this gallery visitors can look at the evidence of the different starting points of when humans became a major influence on the natural world. It starts around 10,000 years ago with pre-history and takes visitors through the rapid industrialisation of the 19th and 20th centuries.

See over 150 incredible items on display, with highlights including Britain’s first working model of a steam carriage made by William Murdoch and samples of the first semi-synthetic plastic created by Alexander Parkes in Birmingham. 

Living in the Anthropocene

Find out how the unprecedented human transformation has impacted plants and animals worldwide too. Discover how wildlife in the West Midlands is already being affected by climate change and then looking at major ecosystems around the world such as coral reefs and forests.

Our Changing Planet is perfect for older children and adults to learn and think about how human inventions and behaviour have impacted the world around us.

The gallery is located on Level 2.


We need your climate stories

We are looking for your stories about how you have changed your lifestyle in response to the Climate Crisis that we all are facing today. 

These stories will help to support the second phase of our brand new Our Changing Planet gallery. This half of the exhibition will look at solutions and simple steps we can all take to help tackle the Climate Crisis. 

We want to find out your great ideas – big and small - so we can shout about and share them with our visitors.

To find out more details including how to send us your stories visit the Climate Story blog. We would love to know your story by 12th July.