The Matrix is a tool a community with little or no planning capacity or experience will really use to ballpark its present state and define a target to move towards. The Matrix harnesses the perceptions of citizens and leaders to gain an understanding of the community. It describes 10 different levels or stages a community can go through from ³highly conflicted² at the bottom to a ³learning culture² stage at the top. (Some users have called it ²Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs² for communities.) At each of the ten levels, there is a list of characteristics that the community might display, what prevents the community from moving up to the next level, and what the community needs to move up to the next level. The Matrix can be used for geographic communities, communities of interest, or even communities within communities. One city manager used the Matrix for polling city councilors about the state of local social, arts, business, and cultural communities. The Matrix was simple enough for everyone to understand.