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

- the World Heritage Exchange Trading Systems

Community sustainability, adaptability and resilience relies on people's ability to access, exchange and make efficient use of available resources. Tourism-dependent communities are specifically vulnerable to disruptions in tourism which could potentially deprive citizens of the income necessary to thrive and/or survive.

We also know that unless we address and solve the inherent unsustainabilty of our current financial and monetary system, we will exhaust our non-renewable resources and fail to avert what the UN warns of: total societal collapse due to breaching of planetary boundaries (‘Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction’ 2022).

Offering an alternative to underpin a commons-friendly tourism economy, WHETS is central to our approach to transformative visitor management and emerging Theory of change.

Towards a circular and regenerative economies

The term 'circular economy' is typically understood to refer to material flows, with less attention given to finance. However, without a flow of payments in the opposite direction to materials, a circular economy cannot become self-sustaining, making investment less attractive - despite demands for progress from both government and investors.

Credit Commons Society 2022



- for what money can't buy

-Empowered individuals -

- Co-created solutions to complex challenges -

- Participatory governance -

- Resilient communities -

Our approach 

Enhancing economic inclusion and resilience through transformative destination and visitor management

The transformative potential of tourism and visitor management lies specifically in how strategic planning and investments could build infrastructure benefitting host communities. The economic tools encompassed by WHETS address several issues within many tourism-dependent communities: seasonal fluctuations in tourism revenues, lack of liquidity (money), exploitative rents charged by middlemen, economic leakage, and more. 

World Heritage Catalysis acts as a convener between systems providers, site management authorities and interested other organisations. Upon expressions of interest we invite partners and collaborators to consider each case / community / network on an individual basis, and suggest approaches that could be adapted or developed.

World Heritage Catalysis contributes to the alignment with objectives and requirements set out though the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. In this effort WHETS specifically supplements the UNESCO Visitor Management Assessment & Strategy Tool (VMAST) by supporting collaborative implementation of strategic objectives. Site management authorities applying VMAST are specifically encouraged to consider how exchange trading systems can support collaborative implementation of strategic objectives. Across its 40 management objectives, VMAST has target indicators that specifically suggest enabling or incentivising relevant stakeholders in collaboration for a goal.

Get in touch for a non-committing inquiry or case clinic

Economic tools for inclusive, circular & regenerative economies

The World Heritage Exchange Trading System (WHETS) builds from a rich body of knowledge on how people have exchanged, traded and collaborated for millennia, combined with new technologies that could help scale a commons-friendly and regenerative economy. WHETS is not one system, but an emerging portfolio of mutual credit systems applied across communities hosting World Heritage or who look to World Heritage for transformative practice.



Regenerative circular economics

> beyond sustainability

An economic system based on business models that replace the 'end of life' concept by maintaining and keeping living, technical, biological and financial resources in use at their highest societal value at all times for the benefit of future and current generations.

Circular Regions

More info: Circular Regions; Mutual Credit ServicesCircular Economy Coalition

Collaborative finance 

Applied definition coming


Mutual credit

> the means of exchange in a commons supportive economy

A means of trading, of exchange, that doesn’t require conventional money, doesn’t incur interest and doesn’t involve banks. It’s based on networks of businesses, traders and individuals who get to know and trust each other in a geographical area or business sector. 

Applied in a trade network members get an account, set at zero. When they sell, they get credits, when they buy, they get debits. There are limits to how far anyone can go into credit or debit. It’s a means of exchange, but not a store of value, so it can’t be extracted from communities and concentrated.

Access to decentralised credit systems promotes resilience, autonomy, and adaptive capacity.

More info:  Credit Commons SocietyMutual Credit ServicesLow Impact

Credit commons

going global

The Credit Commons is a 'protocol' - a language that allows mutual credit and complementary currency groups all over the world to trade with each other seamlessly, without money.

To form the basis of a new global commons economy all mutual credit based monetary projects could be connected through the Credit Commons Protocol into a global network, but owned and controlled by the communities.

More info: Credit Commons SocietyCredit Commons White Paper


Commons credit

> economic regeneration

Inclusive and people powered means of exchange made possible by and supporting the stewardship of natural and cultural commons.

More info: Credit Commons Society




The following tooling are encompassed by WHETS. 

Credit clearing

reducing the need for money and banks

Credit clearing is something the banks do to reduce the need for money to pay debts. But we can do it too. Imagine A owes B £10; B owes C £10; C owes A £10. If everyone has all the information, it can just clear, wihout needing money to pay debts. For networks of trading small businesses, this can be done with algorithms, covering larger and larger areas.

Living labs:

Local Loop North West, UK

More info:

Low Impact;

Mutual Credit Services Clearing Clubs

Capacity vouchers

> allowing consumers to invest spare cash in local retailers

Capacity vouchers can be used to build business-to-consumer systems that allow consumers to invest spare cash in local retailers in return for a discount voucher that represents a claim on the business' spare capacity. The network wide discount is fixed to the smallest profit margin of any participating retailer (mitigating their risk), whilst additional discretionary discounts can be offered by individual business at the point-of-sale. The consumer can use the voucher at any member across the network. Vouchers are cleared between businesses using a shared ledger, with issuance and acceptance limits mutually agreed on the basis of spare capacity.

Living labs: Coming

More info:

Mutual Credit Services High Street Vouchers

Use-credit obligations (UCOs) 

> the means of storing value in the commons economy

Allows physical infrastructure to be brought into the commons without incurring debt, by issuing vouchers sold at a discount. 

Imagine a community energy group wanting to put up a wind turbine. At the moment, to get the funds, they need to go into debt or give away equity (which means the infrastructure will be in the hands of capitalists before long). Instead, they issue energy-credit obligations – vouchers denominated in kWh, not £ (which makes them inflation-proof). People will want them because they’re sold at a discount, and they provide a store of value – interest-free security for old age or sickness. UCOs can work in every sector of the economy. 

Living labs: Coming

More info:

Low Impact

Mutual Credit Services Trade Clearing Clubs

Community currencies 

> coming


Living labs: Coming

More info: Coming

Time banking / credits 



Living labs: Coming

More info: Coming

Offers & needs markets 



Living labs: Coming

More info: Coming

Governance tokens 

> for Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAOs)

To give governance privileges to the community members

More coming

Living labs: World Heritage Catalysis (WHAO)

More info: Hypha

Contact us for interest in application of tools
Contact us for interest in providing or supporting tools



The Credit Commons is a globally-connected network of decentralised, moneyless trading groups.

The Credit Commons Society exists to support and promote the use of the Credit Commons Protocol, particularly between local business networks, lending circles (or savings pools) and community currencies.

Tools & resources

Credit Commons Protocol



CCS Action Research Circle

Circular Trade Analytics


Mutual Credit Services (MSC) is a burgeoning social franchise dedicated to community wealth building, circular economicsrebuilding the commons and contributing towards a global Credit Commons. Building on credit creation and accounting mechanisms used by the corporate and financial sectors, and by providing access to decentralised credit systems, MCS' helps build an economy underpinned by collaborative finance – where the tools for exchange and investment are controlled by and for value producers in the local economy.

Groups can establish their own governance structures and then voluntarily federate, supporting trade using globally-acceptable credit that remains grounded in local trust relations. As a social franchise MSC provides the necessary support services to each group as determined by their context.

Tools & resources

Multilateral Obligation Set-off

Mutual Credit

Use-Credit Obligations

Credit Commons Protocol



Local Loop North West, UK

Brixton Mint, UK

Shubh Vyapar, India

Svensk Barter, Sweden

Stroud Housing Commons, UK

Sustenance and South West Good Food Network, UK

Please contact us for interest in collaboration

Sources & resources