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Community Operations Manager Monique van den Berg shares her inspiration for Likes for Trees

We're featuring an Atlassian Community favorite, our very own Queen @Monique vdB!

Monique is an inspiration within Atlassian and with our leaders and customers, whether she's advocating for a cause she's passionate about, facilitating Community Advisory Board meetings entirely in song, or sharing endless creativity by brainstorming ways to engage our customers and leaders in ways that are fun and special.

We love how she paves the way for amazing opportunities like Likes for Trees, where this month, we're enabling our community members to plant 30,000 trees through partnering with Eden Reforestation by simply liking content on the Atlassian Community! Better yet, the Atlassian Foundation is doubling our donation, so 30,000 clicks willl actually plant 60,000 trees!

Read on to learn more about where Mo gets her inspiration from.


Hey Mo! Tell us more about what you do at Atlassian.

I'm Monique, aka Mo! I’m originally from North Hollywood. and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and our 11-year-old daughter. I’m the community operations manager for the online community, aka the queen of community. 😉

I started at Atlassian in 2017, right before our community launched on our new platform, and have watched it grow and evolve into something amazing over the years. With a migration to an even better platform coming up and our kudos program coming out of beta, I’m excited to see what’s next!

What’s your favorite Atlassian value and why?

I love all the values so this is really hard. I’m going to say Play, as a Team because I love the playfulness of our team and the creative part of my job. I have a degree in poetry so the fact that we’re able to design fun badges or have haiku contests makes it extremely fun.

Plus, I love the culture of our Communiteam and how we’re always willing to jump in and help each other, getting things done and laughing every day – as a team. (I bet you thought I’d say Be the Change You Seek, huh? I’ll get there…)

How did you hear about Eden Reforestation, and where did you get your idea for Likes for Trees?

When my daughter started getting an allowance, we gave her a piggy bank that included savings, spending, and donations. We talked about using her donation money to contribute a cause that was meaningful to her. She loves nature, so I did some research on highly rated nature-related charities and found Eden. At the time, it cost 10 cents to plant one tree (it’s still only 15 cents) and since her allowance was small, she could make a huge impact with a few dollars! Some of her money still goes to plant trees; her other favorite cause is the Ocean Cleanup.


Likes for Trees was inspired by a lot of things. One of them was Community Leader @Brant Schroeder, whom I am about to embarrass with this story probably. He won one of our community contests and in lieu of another prize, he requested a donation to his local food bank. I realized our community is full of people like Brant who might want to give back and be motivated to take a small action that gives back to the world.

Then, of course, an environmental cause made sense because of Mike Cannon-Brookes and his commitment to the climate. And finally, I remembered my daughter planting hundreds of trees with only dozens of dollars.

So as we thought about our next initiative as a team, we realized we could make a big impact, in a cause aligned with our company values, by tapping into the amazingness of our community. What better way to spend our budget than that? 😉

What do you most love about working with the Atlassian Community?

Easy: the people who are part of it. A community is not a platform or a portal, it’s the people who are involved. I’ve made genuine friendships through the community and love connecting with our amazing members and Leaders (especially at in-person events). To me, this speaks to our community’s authenticity and true human connection. Group hug!

You’re super involved with our Atlassian Foundation. How do you bring a Foundation opportunity from an idea to something others at your org and on your team can get involved in?

I created an internal Slack channel called #be-the-change (told you I’d get to this value) and I deeply appreciate being at a company that shares my values, where I can share different ways to get involved with fellow Atlassians, and hear from them about the causes that are meaningful to them.

There are so many ways to make a difference in the world and so many just causes; this year I’ve had to learn to really focus my giving and advocacy. It has made my year to be able to make Likes for Trees a reality – and we’ve already got team members advocating for Likes for Puppies next, so stay tuned. 😂

What’s a quote that inspires you?

This quote from Wisdom of the Jewish Sages by Rabbi Rami Shapiro:

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

What’s a tip for someone new to the Atlassian Community?

The community is here to help you. Whether you want to solve a thorny workflow problem in Jira, grow your career, become a Community Leader, attend local events, or just have fun conversations, there’s honestly something for everyone here. So don’t be afraid to jump in!


Thanks, Mo! Make some time to like some Community content to help us plant 60,000 trees with Likes for Trees, and learn more about our Community Leader program or find an in-person Community Event near you.


I love everything about this feature! Very inspiring and great reminder of limitations being removed for every person, partner, and message we connect with. We do so much more together!

And @Monique vdB Please tell me more about your daughter planting that many trees with such little money. I'm intrigued! 

Like # people like this
John Funk Community Leader Jul 27, 2022

Great article! Thanks for sharing!!

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Andy Gladstone Community Leader Jul 27, 2022

It's inspiring to read an article about someone that is our inspiration! @Monique vdB is so instrumental in setting the tone and purpose of the Atlassian Community. She's not just the Queen, she is the conductor of the entire orchestra. The Likes for Trees initiative has brought out so much more of the personality and creativity of the community members, and in particular the Community Leaders, that the world won't only be a better place with 60,000 new trees in it, but it's already a brighter place because she's gotten us to Play, As a Team.

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Absolutely love everything about this! @Monique vdB thank you for all the work you do in our Atlassian Community and our Earthy Community. A true inspiration :) 

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What a fantastic article - thanks for sharing! I'm loving Likes for Trees! 

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Daniel Eads Atlassian Team Jul 27, 2022

We do the same budget categories with our kiddos! It's inspiring to see how they choose to use giving money when they get to come up with the ideas themselves.

Like # people like this
Taranjeet Singh Community Leader Jul 27, 2022

Great article about an amazing Community person, @Monique vdB ! Thank you for all you do to inspire and help us.

Thank you for sharing this article, @Sharon Tan !

Like # people like this
Okan Erdogan Community Leader Jul 27, 2022

@Monique vdB thanks for all your work and the trees for the world/humanity! Your dedication and work are an inspiration to us all and we're all happy to have you here! And thanks @Sharon Tan for the article! 

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Apart from the initiative itself, it's really awesome to tap into the genuine inspiration behind it all. I am definitely going to take the essence of it back to my kids - currently 16 and 13 years old - and see how it may motivate them to also do something they actually can.

Thanks for sharing!

Like # people like this
Monique vdB Community Manager Jul 27, 2022

Thank you everyone, your nice comments just mean the world to me! Thank you!

@Christine P_ Dela Rosa it costs about 15 cents per tree right now; it used to be 10 cents per tree! And I donate her funds via our donation matching portal if I still have matching left. So for example if she has $2.50 from her allowance, it becomes $5 thanks to Atlassian matching, and then that's 33 trees! (Note: my math is probably wrong, it was easier when it cost 10 cents per tree. 😂) 

Here is the info from the Eden Reforestation Projects FAQ:

Screen Shot 2022-07-27 at 12.00.03 PM.png

Like # people like this
Summer.Hogan Community Leader Jul 27, 2022

What a great article! I love learning about community members and @Monique vdB you seem like one of the best! I already said this before in another discussion, but great job on this initiative to plant trees! This rocks! 

Like # people like this
Monique vdB Community Manager Jul 27, 2022

You're so nice @Summer_Hogan!! It's been so great getting to know you around the community this month especially. I hope you're considering applying to be an online Community Leader I think you'd be amazing!

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You have the literal receipts on how we can do more than we think we might have resources for. Thank you for sharing that math problem breakdown, @Monique vdB  😅

Like # people like this
Ajay _view26_ Community Leader Jul 28, 2022

The world will be a better place with such initatives  🌳🌳🌳🌳 Kudos @Monique vdB  and the entire Atlassian Community!

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Thanks @Monique vdB

I'll look into it right now! Thanks for the link! 

Like Andy Gladstone likes this
Brant Schroeder Community Leader Jul 28, 2022

@Monique vdB I am just getting around to reading this.  Thanks for sharing.  Your daughter is an inspiration to all of us.  I think it is great how the younger generations are so connected to the environment and helping others around them. 

Like # people like this


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