Welcome to an emerging community of practice & work in progress.

- the World Heritage Autonomous Organisation


World Heritage Catalysis set out a vision of resilient and regenerative communities living in and around natural and cultural World Heritage.

Broad based community involvement and empowerment are essentials in the aspiration to realise such a vision. The question is how can we enable participatory governance within our organisations, and support polycentric governance involving a diversity of organisations?


DAOs are engaged in nothing less than an experiment to reimagine how we all connect, collaborate and create.

World Economic Forum 2023

Through WHAO, World Heritage Catalysis is exploring the transformative potential of web-3 technology and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) in the context of World Heritage. Efforts are guided by and building upon the Ostroms' work including design principles and “best practices” for institutions governing common-pool resources (CPR).

Ostrom's design principles for governing commons

  1. Clearly defined boundaries
  2. Equitable distribution of benefits and resources 
  3. Inclusive decision making
  4. Monitoring
  5. Graduated sanctions
  6. Conflict resolution mechanisms
  7. Member autonomy
  8. Coordination and nested institutions

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)

  • Member owned communities without centralized leadership.
  • Enabling collaboration among strangers over the internet.
  • A means to fundraise and democratically allocate funds to specific causes.
  • Blockchain based voting for transparency


Exploring the potential of DAOs and web-3 technology

To develop into an organisation enabling and supporting peer governance World Heritage Catalysis is exploring the potential of Decentralised Autonomous organisations (DAOs) and web-3 technology. Considering alternative approaches, we are in 2023 taking part of HYPHAs Flow Journey and applying the DAO OS Canvas adapted from a canvas model developed by The Ready. The purpose is to create a fully operational scaffolding for World Heritage Catalysis as a DAO and Anchor DAO that potentially could support an ecosystem of DAOs for World Heritage: the WHAO - World Heritage Autonomous Organisation.



Feel free to open canvas elements, view the work in progress and provide comments. 
Join community to co-create

Purpose & vision

Why we exist, the purpose we serve and our future potential.


How we organize and team. The anatomy of WHAO.


How we protect and establish trust.


How we plan, prioritize, and actualize our purpose.


How we learn and evolve collectively.   

Value flow

How we operate and create as well as distribute value.


How we pay, provide for, and reciprocate.


How we operate, make decisions, and share power.


How we, including members and teams, convene and communicate.

Info flow

How we share and use data.


How we develop, grow, and evolve.
Emerging Theory of Change



Diversity & shared purpose 

WHAO encourage people from all over the World to come together and bring diversity into shared purpose.


WHAO helps distributing and decentralising decision making, and thereby empowering a larger range of community members. 


Through participation and contributions, individuals can earn tokens () that can be used within the organisation to pay for membership, services, and voting on proposals set out within the circles they are members of. As voting power will vary across members, holders are encouraged to use their tokens to cast votes, make donation, or use them in ways they think is best for their community/ies and greater cause.

Publicity & transparency

Within WHAO, votes are cast via blockchain and made publicly viewable. This requires members to act in ways they feel is best, as their vote and their decisions will be made publicly viewable. This incentivizes actions that will benefit member reputations and discourage acts against the community. 

Adapted from https://www.investopedia.com/tech/what-dao/

WHAO tokenomics 

To realise the transformative potential that resides within communities, it is 'all hands on deck'. Through the WHAO (World Heritage Autonomous Organisation), we are therefore specifically exploring how a mutual credit based token could empower members of World Heritage Catalysis, and offer a set of principles supporting peer-governance across organisations in and around World Heritage. The tokenomics of WHAO will be developed as part of WHETS. While such a token most likely will apply blockchain technology, we are already running a very basic voucher based pilot offering the opportunity to earn and spend ₩ (time credits).

The application of a blockchain based native token alongside other (mutual credit) systems will be a specific focus of collaboration between the Governance (WHAO) WG and WHETS WG.


Governance working group  

Members who have joined the community platform (in Circle) can join the Governance (WHAO) Working Group meetings. The meetings take place bi-weekly on Fridays at 11.00 CET.

(The WHAO and WHETS WG are alternately convening on Fridays 11.00 CET).



Hypha builds tools and provides structures supporting inclusive collaboration and large scale coordination in the transition towards regenerative cultures and communities. Hypha’s human centric and open source tools enables on-chain governance, transparent treasury management, and a diversity of compensation tools. 

"A platform for 'Purpose Driven' organisations where everybody can start, find, contribute to, evolve and invest in Purposes that align with their personal values."


Organisations and networks we are learning from and with:

Superbenefit; Credit Commons Society; CommonsStack; Crypto Commons, colleagues in World Heritage, from Catalyst 2030; ICOMOS; and many more.

Join community

Sources & resources