A First Look at the Mendix Social Impact Program

As the torchbearer of the new Mendix Social Impact program, I’ve been reflecting on the ambitious scope of this initiative. Some Mendixites lovingly call the program “Low-Code for Good.” I celebrate that nickname every time I highlight the program’s unique mix of idealistic and practical attributes.

The stated mission of this initiative — launched in June 2023 —is to empower disadvantaged communities and mission-oriented nonprofits who would benefit from Mendix’s developer training, licenses, and other resources to create purpose-built, digital solutions.

The effort to empower a more diverse talent pool of software creators by sharing access to our pioneering development platform is, at its core, an ethical vision. This type of approach generally emerges as organizations mature. As Mendix grows and matures, so too must its vision and audience.

From pioneers to low-code industry leaders — Mendix comes of age

The evolution of Mendix’s messaging and mission illustrates this path. In previous years, our messaging focused on our proof-of-concept. Taglines such as “No code — Just glory” were followed by “The App Platform.” These were simple, bold claims meant to raise awareness of our transformative approach to software design.

Today, our message has grown alongside the company. Mendix has earned the highest industry accolades for leadership and execution as the world’s leading low-code application development platform. We’ve gained market reach and resources by joining forces with Siemens, a global industrial powerhouse.

Accordingly, CEO Tim Srock said, “We mobilize organizations to create better software, faster.” And, in a world that is increasingly driven by technology, Mendix makes it possible “to turn ideas into outcomes.”

We know that outcomes aren’t always measured in ROI, euros, or dollars. Technology aligned with purpose can accelerate sustainable transformation and improve society in multiple ways.

Or, to quote a popular superhero, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Expanding access to the best-in-class tools of digital transformation

Mendixites have witnessed firsthand how tech enablement has become indispensable, transcending national boundaries and industrial sectors. But there remains unequal access to the software-building skills and resources needed to unlock economic empowerment and solutions for a range of social needs.

This issue is called the “digital divide.”  Researchers describe the divide that keeps 2.7 billion people globally offline as the unequal access to laptops, infrastructure, broadband connectivity, and educational resources. To bridge this divide, United Nations cautions that solutions must include universal and meaningful connectivity.

The UN’s approach complements Mendix’s core message, which emphasizes the transformative power of inclusion and collaboration. Our founding principle seeks to mend the communication gap between business experts and IT specialists. That vision inspired me when I joined the company several years ago. I wondered if Mendix could mend another gap? Could we provide a second chance to disadvantaged communities lacking access to critically needed digital resources?

Proof-of-concept for low-code for good

Working in Rotterdam with the company’s leadership team, I had the opportunity to develop the idea of using solutions built with low-code to help people from underprivileged backgrounds. Mendix managers were enthusiastic.

The program’s nickname — “Low-code for Good” — emerged from that effort. And, as the design of Mendix Hackathons evolved, a similar inspiration prompted Hackathon organizers to work with nonprofits as input for real-world use cases for the participants to solve.

This idea transformed the approach of our Hackathons. By 2019, the Mendix World 24-Hour Hackathon and 2022’s global MxHacks “Low-Code for Good” proved low-code’s power to develop socially impactful digital solutions in a matter of days.

The nonprofits that received help from MxHacks 2022 solutions included:

  • Project Alianza, headquartered in Boston with field work in Guatemala and Nicaragua, which uses technology to bridge the learning gap for rural school-age children and women in Central America.
  • Welcome app, based in the Netherlands,a low-code app that serves as a one-stop, digital portal for immigrants rebuilding their lives in a new country.
  • New Hope Community Services, based in Singapore, which launched a digital portal to help the area’s homeless population find housing, mentoring and employment support.

For other examples of Mendix’s social impact, look no further than the pandemic. In that challenging time, low-code enabled first responders to solve critical needs fast — across the public sector, healthcare, logistics, and global supply chains. Researchers noted that low-code’s speed of delivery at scale was validated by the pandemic. Nick Ford, Mendix’s chief growth officer, “Those real-world success stories set a new benchmark for what the future technology landscape will look like.”

Time, talent, treasure, and teamwork

This year, the Mendix Social Impact program is partnering with Siemens on several new initiatives.

Together, we are working to upskill more than six hundred young African women in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda as part of the UN Women’s African Girls Can Code initiative.

We’re organizing a virtual Mendix bootcamp that features dedicated mentors, instructional videos, and support in career opportunities for young women working on their rapid application training and development (RAD) certification.

In a similar vein, we’re lending training assistance and resources to Motopp, a Netherlands-based organization that trains highly educated immigrants on low-code software development. After completing the Mendix training program, 93 percent of Motoppers found employment as developers with organizations.

We’re continuing to support the missions of our MxHacks nonprofits. Project Alianza, the Netherlands Foundation’s Welcome App, and Singapore’s New Hope Community Services have continued to use the Mendix platform to create new digital solutions where needed.

Building bridges and mending the gap

At Mendix, our commitment sets us apart. In a world where choices abound, customers will choose organizations that have a purpose. Remember, purpose fuels innovation. Every individual’s contribution has the potential to inspire others, leading to immeasurable impact.

Mendix is proud of the many ways we can give back to their communities — locally and globally. Employees will soon be able to digitally connect mentors with mentees and contribute paid volunteer time.

Technology can truly change and improve the world. Mendix has always sought to empower the broadest number of people with these change-making skills. As the Mendix Social Impact program evolves, I’ll be thrilled to share the ways we’re making a difference. Our aim is to transform people’s lives for the better — and, in doing so, transform our own.