Joshua Monk Vanwyck


  • Program Year
  • 2011-12
  • Country of Current Residence
  • Germany
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • Stuttgart
  • Current Position
  • Climate Design Engineer
  • Organization
  • Transsolar GmbH
  • Profession(s)
  • Engineer

  • Sector(s)
  • Science / Technology
  • Language(s)
  • English, French, Spanish (advanced proficiency)
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • leadership development, sustainability, technology
Scholar LinkedIn profile Scholar email address
Impact Statement

Josh cares about tackling complex problems in the sustainable buildings and communities sector. He is committed to supporting poverty reduction through my work with Engineers Without Borders. He is also passionate about food, cooking and local production.


Joshua works to support small communities in identifying and implementing strategies for building an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable future. Having grown up in rural Ontario, Josh saw first-hand the quiet decline in human capital and resources endemic in small communities. Trained as an engineer with extensive experience in community building and leadership development, Joshua aims to develop a web-based tool and service model to facilitate collaboration between the various professions and stakeholders involved in community development.

As a high school student at Pearson College, Josh lived as part of a community of students from 90 countries, where he gained an appreciation of the value of living in an international and intellectually diverse community. During that time, he spent one year volunteering in Ecuador and Costa Rica working on community development projects, participating in a movement of education for social transformation. Drawing on these experiences, he brings to his work – and everything he does – a passion for people and a deep-rooted belief for human capacity to grow, learn and change.

Believing that technology could help address the constraints on human and community development, Josh completed his BASc in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo as a Loran Scholar.

Working both as volunteer and then fulltime staff member at Engineers Without Borders for seven years, Joshua advanced the leadership potential and abilities of young Canadian engineers to be agents for a world without poverty.  Through his travels and work, it became clear to him that the motivation for people to create change strongly correlated with their connection to their community, including its physical structures.

This led Joshua to begin exploring green buildings and sustainable community development. Joshua lived on British Columbia’s Cortes Island, working with Archemy Consulting, an environmental consulting company specialized in green buildings and green urban planning. There, he helped design Whistler Green, a green building guideline for Whistler, BC, as well as a green community standard for Shanghai, China.

Joshua worked in Germany in 2011 with Transsolar Climate Engineering, a global leader in green building design,. There,he focused on worldwide water reuse strategies and climate responsive community and building design.

Joshua’s fascination with new cultures and ways of life has encouraged him to live in many different countries to work and study. He is also a food lover who adores cooking in company, and in his free time enjoys reading, hiking and singing in choirs. Joshua also sits on the Board of Directors of Engineers Without Borders and on the Advisory Board of the Canadian Fair Trade Network.

As a Fellow

Joshua focused on supporting small communities in moving towards sustainability. He worked with a community in Northern Ontario on developing a vision for a resilient town. He also coordinated a series of video case studies in small communities with mayors, councillors and citizens to share their experiences with sustainability initiatives. As part of a small team, he is also working to create a Centre for Rural Sustainability in an old hatchery in the Laurentians.

In May 2015, Joshua was awarded an Alumni Collaboration Fund grant (alongside his project partner, Sauvé Fellow Stéphanie Jensen-Cormier) to help fund the construction of a sustainably designed courtyard home in Gucheng village, China, that will be used as a model for alternative building practices and systems. To know more about this project, click here.