Why Flex Mami Thinks Student Entrepreneurs Are the Future of Australian Creativity
As a disruptor and change-maker in her own right, Flex Mami is putting her knowledge to use by helping empower Australian students to find their voice, showcase their skills and ambitions and use technology to make tomorrow’s world a better place.
“Society often relies on top-down change, and there’s this hope that it will trickle down to us, but young people recognise the agency that they have,” Flex tells POPSUGAR Australia.
“They truly have the best understanding of society, as it is and therefore, are in the best position to create change.”
The power young people have today is pretty amazing. Social media platforms have really opened up a world that we can not only exist and create in, but they’ve also allowed us to be inspired by other young people creating their own change.
When we’re young — especially when still at school — it’s easy to be ignorant of our power, because there’s no one really telling us that we can truly create change. We’re teenagers.
I’ve noticed a huge difference in young people over the past decade. My little sister just graduated high school and she has a way more mature and well-rounded view of what the world looks like than I did at her age. I think this has heaps to do with the fact that my generation was more shielded.
Technology was more of a choice than a necessity back in my childhood, and although Facebook and Instagram were successful and happening back in 2013, we didn’t get an in-depth look into people’s lives like we do now.
We’ve also seen so much change happen in the past decade, thanks to social media and online media platforms. #MeToo happened in 2017, Black Lives Matter exploded on Twitter and Instagram following George Floyd’s death in 2020, Fleetwood Mac’s song Dreams became a TikTok sensation after a viral video involving a skateboard and cranberry juice dropped… you get my point.
The past ten years have been huge for social change, with endless examples of how anyone, of any age, can make a difference in any way they choose.
“While there are still so many that are shielded from reality, young people see it for what it really is,” says Flex. “It’s amazing because young people will be alive to see the fruits of their labour. It’s exciting to watch change happen throughout the course of our lifetime, and to be part of that change.”
As part of the Red Bull Basement, all applicants will have access to mentors, including Flex and fellow mentor Elfy Scott, as well as workshops, networking events and more.
Flex’s journey as an influencer and entrepreneur has empowered her to empower others. She wants to be the voice to guide other young people down their own path of creativity and change, in whichever direction that may be.
“People often think that money is a motivator when it comes to being a young entrepreneur, but no, young people really want to ensure that the life they live is sustainable for them and their peers,” she says.
“It’s really crucial to feel that your power aligns with you personally.”
Flex is bursting with advice to give and her passion to help others find their community and share their ideas is evident.
“Change doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you can’t see it when you’re a consumer because you have a more naive view of how things work, which can quickly turn into ignorance and is not a great tool for forward movement and progression.
“But it’s crucial to understand why the change isn’t happening, before you can effectively create it.”
She says that it’s all about learning what works for you, what works in the business world, what language is best understood by which audience… it’s all about seeing the full picture.
To apply to be a part of the Red Bull Basement, 18+ years old and currently enrolled students simply need to upload a video that explains their team idea on the Red Bull Basement website. The chosen Australian teams will then have five weeks to further develop their ideas with the help of resources including an international mentorship program before attending an immersive, three-day Global Final in Istanbul, Turkey, where teams will pitch their projects to a panel of experts.
If you don’t qualify, don’t worry. There will be so many opportunities for you, you’ve just got to take notice. Whether you’re still in school, studying, feel a bit lost in your current career or even just have a heap of unfinished ideas… it’s never too late to experiment.
Flex leaves us with some parting advice:
“Believe in your community, they’re the people that are going to help you.
“Sitting at home alone in your bedroom, googling something or trying to learn alone, isn’t always where it’s at. We’re always so set on making change as an individual, but have you ever thought about the power of collaboration?
“Awesome things like the Red Bull Basement exist to give you a platform, an opportunity to get out of your head and to lean on resources you don’t have. Take them.”