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The most-read case studies of 2021, and the profs who wrote them.

Debapratim Pukayastha of ICFAI Business School in India topped the Case Centre’s list of the world’s top case studies for the sixth straight year. Sadly, Pukayastha passed away in May from Covid-19.

Harvard Business School, which invented both the first MBA program and the business case method, remains king of the case study 100 years later, according to the latest international ranking of case authors.

The Case Centre, a nonprofit that distributes the largest collection of management case studies to business schools across the world, today (October 25) unveiled its 2020-21 Top 50 Bestselling Case Authors. HBS had more case authors (nine) on the list than any other business school. However, ICFAI Business School in India was close behind with seven authors, including all three top individual spots. INSEAD had four authors in the top 10, while Harvard has two top-10 authors.

Case studies, which use real-life problems faced by business executives, are still one of the most widely used education tools for MBA students across the globe. More than 8,800 faculty are registered as authors with The Case Centre. This year’s list of best-selling cases includes each author’s top-selling cases — and though MBA students may not recognize the names of a case study’s author, the titles are more likely ring a bell.


Debapratim Pukayastha of ICFAI Business School (IBS) in India topped the Case Centre’s list of bestselling authors for the sixth straight year. He has earned the distinction every year since the Case Centre began issuing yearly awards for case writing. But this year’s award was a bittersweet honor, as Pukayastha passed away in May from Covid-19.

“Selling over 100,000 copies from an extensive back catalogue of cases since the list was introduced in 2016, Debapratim’s undoubted impact on the case method and management education will live on for years through the many case authors and teachers he has inspired,” the Case Centre announced, “and the vast number of students whose education has been enhanced by learning through his cases.”

Among Pukayastha’s best-selling cases are an examination of safety lapses at a BP oil refinery in Texas City that led to one of the most serious workplace accidents in U.S. history; a case looking at Netflix’s leveraging of Big Data to predict hits; and a case examining how Procter & Gamble develops new products. Besides his annual plaudits for bestselling case, he also won the Case Centre’s Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award in 2015, 2018, and 2019.

“I believe that one can be a good teacher without being a good case writer, but it’s not possible to be a good case writer without being a good teacher,” Pukayastha wrote in an author profile on the Case Centre website . “However, I have also found that regularly writing cases can greatly improve classroom teaching. Case writing can be a lonely activity and even hard work, but if you have the passion, it’s worth it! It means you can have a positive impact in classrooms around the world where your case is taught.”

This infographic from The Case Centre shows the key demographic trends in the 2020/21 Top Bestselling Case Authors ranking. Courtesy Case Centre


The UK- and U.S.-based Case Centre has released its bestselling case author list every year since 2016, ranking authors whose cases have sold the most copies during the previous academic year. This year, it raised the number of bestselling authors from 40 to 50.

Of this year’s list, authors came from 19 different business schools in nine separate countries. That includes 42% each from Europe and the United States, and 16% from Asia.

“As the list increases from 40 to 50, we see a change in the geographic dynamics,” the nonprofit announced. “European and U.S. schools each have a 42% share of the 2020/21 Top 50, down from 45% in 2019-20. While the representation of schools in Asia rises to 16%, up from 10% last year.”

Eighteen percent of the authors are women while 82% are men. While the list does not break down bestselling cases by the race, ethnicity or gender of its protagonists, finding case studies that represent the increasing diversity of business students (and in business executives) has been an ongoing concern for many B-schools’ diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. For example, Harvard Business School published more than 70 cases with Black or African-American protagonists this past year after long-standing criticism that its studies ignored Black business leaders, according to a Poets&Quants article published in June .

It also produced 90 cases featuring Hispanic, Asian or Asian-American/Pacific Islander, or Native-American protagonists. HBS faculty write about 400 case studies per year.

“Our students are right that protagonist diversity matters,” Jan Rivkin, HBS senior associate dean and chair of the MBA program, said in June . “By studying cases with a wide diversity of protagonists, students learn that talent and leadership come from all backgrounds and identities. If students don’t understand that, they’ll worsen inequities, miss out on opportunities for themselves, and miss chances to create opportunities for others.”


ICFAI Business School also had the No. 2 and No. 3 authors, and both are new entrants to the Case Centre’s list.

Second-ranked author Indu Perepu is an assistant professor specializing in human resource management. Her best-selling cases include “Airbnb: A Disruptive Innovator” and “Snapchat Turns Down Facebook’s Acquisition Offer.”

“What makes the case study method even more meaningful is that in developing countries like India where teaching through cases is picking up, case studies help the students with limited international exposure to learn intricately about multinational corporations and the world’s largest companies,” Perepu says.

Third-ranked author Syeda Maseeha Qumer is an assistant professor specializing in business strategy. For her top-selling cases, she looked at the integrated marketing strategy of HBO’s Game of Thrones and the impact of conflict palm oil on deforestation, human rights violations, and climate pollution, and PepsiCo’s use of it in its products.

“Case-based learning is unmatched in its ability to engage students and teach essential concepts that are relevant to practicing managers,” Qumer says. “Innovation in the case method is essential to enliven any classroom and to obtain better learning outcomes. I have always endeavored to develop diverse cases on contemporary issues that offer students an opportunity to explore complex real-world management challenges in the classroom, allowing them to assess their decision-making skills before taking the plunge into the corporate world.”

France’s ESSEC Business School had the top climbing author, Ashok Som , who moved up 26 places to No. 11 from last year’s ranking.

See the full list of this year’s case-writing winners on page 2, including links to their bios.

Harvard Business School is the home of the business case study. Once again it is also where most of the top-ranked cases were written in 2021

Beyond its ranking of case study authors, the Case Centre trains faculty in using case studies in B-school education, runs international case competitions and offers scholarships to unpublished case writers and teachers. Membership includes more than 500 business schools and organizations around the world.

See its full release and read about other best-selling authors here .

1. The Top 50 Bestselling Case Authors 2020/21 – full list

1 Debapratim Purkayastha , ICFAI Business School (IBS) 2 Indu Perepu , ICFAI Business School (IBS) 3 Syeda Maseeha Qumer , ICFAI Business School (IBS) 4 W Chan Kim , INSEAD (joint) 4 Renée Mauborgne , INSEAD (joint) 6 Joerg Niessing , INSEAD 7 Christopher A Bartlett , Harvard Business School 8 Wolfgang Ulaga , INSEAD 9 David B Yoffie , Harvard Business School 10 Nader Tavassoli , London Business School 11 Ashok Som , ESSEC Business School 12 Jill Avery , Harvard Business School 13 Kamran Kashani , Institute for Management Development (IMD) 14 Youngme Moon , Harvard Business School 15 Kasra Ferdows , McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University 16 John A Quelch , Miami Business School 17 David Dubois , INSEAD 18 Carlos Cordon , Institute for Management Development (IMD) 19 Michael Lewis , University of Bath School of Management (joint) 19 Jose A D Machuca , Universidad de Sevilla (joint) 21 David J Collis , Harvard Business School 22 Pierre Chandon , INSEAD 23 Mohanbir Sawhney , Kellogg School of Management 24 Robert F Bruner , University of Virginia Darden School of Business 25 Denis Gromb , HEC Paris 26 Urs Mueller , SDA Bocconi School of Management 27 Vivek Gupta , TechSci Research 28 Jamie Anderson , Antwerp Management School 29 Benoit Leleux , Institute for Management Development (IMD) 30 Sanjib Dutta , ICFAI Business School (IBS) 31 Vincent Dessain , Harvard Business School 32 GV Muralidhara , ICFAI Business School (IBS) 33 Jitesh Nair , ICFAI Business School (IBS) 34 Michael J Schill , University of Virginia Darden School of Business 35 Elizabeth Grasby , Ivey Business School 36 Horacio Falcão , INSEAD 37 Robert S Kaplan , Harvard Business School 38 Seán A Meehan , Institute for Management Development (IMD) 39 Herminia Ibarra , London Business School 40 Ian Dunn , Ivey Business School 41 Peter Killing , Institute for Management Development (IMD) 42 Stefan Michel , Institute for Management Development (IMD) 43 Jan W Rivkin , Harvard Business School 44 Inyoung Chae , Goizueta Business School, Emory University 45 Sean D Carr , University of Virginia Darden School of Business 46 James E Hatch , Ivey Business School 47 Thales Teixeira , Decoupling.co 48 Eric Van den Steen , Harvard Business School 49 V Namratha Prasad , ICFAI Business School (IBS) 50 P Fraser Johnson , Ivey Business School


The post The Most-Read Case Studies Of 2021, And The Profs Who Wrote Them appeared first on Poets&Quants .

The 10 most popular Better News case studies of 2023

news case study

Bill Gibbs, center, poses alongside his neighbors outside of the community center in Uniontown, Ala., on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. Gibbs is among the residents who worry about the impact the massive Arrowhead Landfill is having on their community. (Jake Crandall/ Advertiser)

In 2023, Better News featured lessons and successes from local news organizations building trust in marginalized communities, partnering with local organizations and diversifying revenue streams. These case studies, written by alumni of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program , are helping accelerate the work of journalists and news organizations across the industry. The case studies featured on this list are our top 10 most-viewed stories in 2023.

In a special year-end episode, Better News podcast host Michael O’Connell talked to Kamaria Roberts, the deputy director of local news transformation at the American Press Institute, about her 2023 highlights. Listen to the podcast here .

1. How the Detroit Free Press is using personas to better gauge readers’ interests

To strengthen users’ journey to loyalty, the Detroit Free Press realized it needed to focus on a specific group of subscribers. The team started by isolating a cohort of more than 600 subscribers who read Detroit Tigers MLB coverage, before or after buying a subscription. What they learned was that this cohort of subscribers was also interested in breaking news and political coverage, which was something they’d assumed wasn’t true. By finding a distinctive way to label users and create a dashboard to easily track data, the Free Press was able to increase page views per session for these Tigers subscribers.

2. Turn newsletter subscribers into donors, like WJCT Public Media did

Jacksonville Today, WJCT Public Media’s weekday newsletter, needed financial viability after its first year of publication. The team decided to experiment with a digital fundraising campaign, which they’d never done before. Using personalized messages from reporters, they asked their most loyal subscribers to donate, with their donations being matched in November and December. More than 500 readers, about 5% of the subscriber list, donated to the campaign.

3. How a reader-oriented ask-the-newsroom effort brought digital subscribers to the Redding Record Searchlight

The Redding Record Searchlight had a trust issue with its conservative audience. The newspaper also wanted to accelerate digital subscription growth by encouraging reader participation. “Ask the Record Searchlight” invites readers to help shape coverage by submitting questions that the Record Searchlight could answer. Consistency and growing awareness helped gain new subscribers through the initiative and improve the Record Searchlight’s relationship with existing subscribers.

4. Lessons from the digital subscriptions sprint cohort for Table Stakes alumni

Five teams participated in the digital subscription cohort for Table Stakes alumni, which challenged them to experiment with new ways of growing and retaining digital audiences. In the piece, each team shared their challenge and lessons from their experience in the cohort. 

5. How the Montgomery Advertiser is building trust and growing audiences in Alabama’s rural communities

The Montgomery Advertiser knew its racist history deemed it untrustworthy to some in the community. They set out to fix it by growing trust in underserved communities and reimagining their coverage to be more enterprise-focused. Communicating directly with rural audiences, in-person and digitally, helped the Advertiser gain an understanding of what this community needed and how they could work together. The newsroom used beat mapping to ensure their work was reaching the readers who were most hungry for it. Their work gained them new subscribers and key relationships with community stakeholders.

6. How the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel focused on prioritizing with a “Stop Doing” list

First published in 2018, the advice from this piece still resonates with news organizations today and continues to be one of the most-read pieces on Better News. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel needed to address the capacity issues that hold so many organizations back. To get started, a team created a list of newsroom activities that didn’t contribute to its audience-centric strategy. Having a list was key — it helped them remember their commitment, track progress and celebrate wins. Reviewing the list consistently was a must, too.

7. How a university partnership helps The Coloradoan build opinion content and audience engagement

With staff reductions reducing The Coloradoan’s newsroom down to only 16 people, they were forced to stop doing some things. Their traditional opinion coverage wasn’t a high driver of digital readership but it did provide an important forum for community conversations. They decided to reimagine the opinion section to be a weekly curated discussion of a question related to recent local news, an initiative that they call Coloradoan Conversations. The effort has been proven successful in several ways. The newsroom has partnered with other local organizations; pageviews, engagement time and subscriptions are up; and the community is benefiting from the coverage. 

8. Managing change in news organizations starts with leading people well

Three Detroit business leaders shared key leadership principles for managing change during a panel discussion for news leaders. Their advice:

  • Lead from all sides of the room, not just from the most protected side.
  • Let people know where they stand and where you stand as the one in charge.
  • Embrace difficult conversations as the fair and deserved interactions that they are.

9. 3 tips for building trust with rural communities

During a live-streamed panel discussion, three journalists who serve rural audiences offered suggestions on building trust in these communities. Here’s what they said:

  • Recognize that you are part of the media and oftentimes people don’t differentiate among news organizations. Start by making yourself known and letting people know why you’re there.
  • Don’t stereotype the people in these communities by assuming you know more than you do. There are nuanced and complex things for you to learn about each community.
  • Listen to people and take the time to understand their lives. Accountability is high in rural places because people are much more likely to know one another.

10. Nostalgia as a beat? How Newsday is turning look-back coverage into a surprise driver of new subscribers

When Newsday realized that niche content was helping grow online audiences during the height of the pandemic, it began treating nostalgia coverage as a beat. A spike in engagement from a where-are-they-now story about retired New York metro-area TV newscasters caught the eye of an editor, and the team quickly realized that it needed to focus the nostalgia pieces on memorable events specific to Long Island. As of November, entertainment-related nostalgia stories have had up to 40% higher engagement and triple the paths to conversions as the average story.

More Resources about Diversifying revenue

Diversifying revenue: a primer, how the bangor daily news used e-commerce as an unexpected tool for community service, 4 ways to use the funnel to grow reader revenue, lessons from the digital subscriptions sprint cohort for table stakes alumni, how substantial media of north carolina amplifies positive voices within the black community, how a craft beer collaboration helped vermont public radio grow audience and revenue, how the post and courier raised more than $1 million for a south carolina-wide investigative fund and education lab, how the las vegas review-journal grew audience and revenue with its narrative podcast “mobbed up”, how the day partnered with a nonprofit to raise nearly $90,000 in community donations to support pandemic coverage, see more about: diversifying revenue, still can't find what you need.

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HBS Case Selections

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OpenAI: Idealism Meets Capitalism

  • Shikhar Ghosh
  • Shweta Bagai

Generative AI and the Future of Work

  • Christopher Stanton
  • Matt Higgins

Copilot(s): Generative AI at Microsoft and GitHub

  • Frank Nagle
  • Shane Greenstein
  • Maria P. Roche
  • Nataliya Langburd Wright
  • Sarah Mehta

Innovation at Moog Inc.

  • Brian J. Hall
  • Ashley V. Whillans
  • Davis Heniford
  • Dominika Randle
  • Caroline Witten

Innovation at Google Ads: The Sales Acceleration and Innovation Labs (SAIL) (A)

  • Linda A. Hill
  • Emily Tedards

Juan Valdez: Innovation in Caffeination

  • Michael I. Norton
  • Jeremy Dann

UGG Steps into the Metaverse

  • Shunyuan Zhang
  • Sharon Joseph
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Julia Kelley

Metaverse Wars

  • David B. Yoffie

Roblox: Virtual Commerce in the Metaverse

  • Ayelet Israeli
  • Nicole Tempest Keller

Timnit Gebru: "SILENCED No More" on AI Bias and The Harms of Large Language Models

  • Tsedal Neeley
  • Stefani Ruper

Hugging Face: Serving AI on a Platform

  • Kerry Herman
  • Sarah Gulick

SmartOne: Building an AI Data Business

  • Karim R. Lakhani
  • Pippa Tubman Armerding
  • Gamze Yucaoglu
  • Fares Khrais

Honeywell and the Great Recession (A)

  • Sandra J. Sucher
  • Susan Winterberg

Target: Responding to the Recession

  • Ranjay Gulati
  • Catherine Ross
  • Richard S. Ruback
  • Royce Yudkoff

Hometown Foods: Changing Price Amid Inflation

  • Julian De Freitas
  • Jeremy Yang
  • Das Narayandas

Elon Musk's Big Bets

  • Eric Baldwin

Elon Musk: Balancing Purpose and Risk

Tesla's ceo compensation plan.

  • Krishna G. Palepu
  • John R. Wells
  • Gabriel Ellsworth

China Rapid Finance: The Collapse of China's P2P Lending Industry

  • William C. Kirby
  • Bonnie Yining Cao
  • John P. McHugh

Forbidden City: Launching a Craft Beer in China

  • Christopher A. Bartlett
  • Carole Carlson


  • Stefan Thomke
  • Daniela Beyersdorfer

Innovation at Uber: The Launch of Express POOL

  • Chiara Farronato
  • Alan MacCormack

Racial Discrimination on Airbnb (A)

  • Michael Luca
  • Scott Stern
  • Hyunjin Kim

Unilever's Response to the Future of Work

  • William R. Kerr
  • Emilie Billaud
  • Mette Fuglsang Hjortshoej

AT&T, Retraining, and the Workforce of Tomorrow

  • Joseph B. Fuller
  • Carl Kreitzberg

Leading Change in Talent at L'Oreal

  • Lakshmi Ramarajan
  • Vincent Dessain
  • Emer Moloney
  • William W. George
  • Andrew N. McLean

Eve Hall: The African American Investment Fund in Milwaukee

  • Steven S. Rogers
  • Alterrell Mills

United Housing - Otis Gates

  • Mercer Cook

The Home Depot: Leadership in Crisis Management

  • Herman B. Leonard
  • Marc J. Epstein
  • Melissa Tritter

The Great East Japan Earthquake (B): Fast Retailing Group's Response

  • Hirotaka Takeuchi
  • Kenichi Nonomura
  • Dena Neuenschwander
  • Meghan Ricci
  • Kate Schoch
  • Sergey Vartanov

Insurer of Last Resort?: The Federal Financial Response to September 11

  • David A. Moss
  • Sarah Brennan

Under Armour

  • Rory McDonald
  • Clayton M. Christensen
  • Daniel West
  • Jonathan E. Palmer
  • Tonia Junker

Hunley, Inc.: Casting for Growth

  • John A. Quelch
  • James T. Kindley

Bitfury: Blockchain for Government

  • Mitchell B. Weiss
  • Elena Corsi

Deutsche Bank: Pursuing Blockchain Opportunities (A)

  • Lynda M. Applegate
  • Christoph Muller-Bloch

Maersk: Betting on Blockchain

  • Scott Johnson

Yum! Brands

  • Jordan Siegel
  • Christopher Poliquin

Bharti Airtel in Africa

  • Tanya Bijlani

Li & Fung 2012

  • F. Warren McFarlan
  • Michael Shih-ta Chen
  • Keith Chi-ho Wong

Sony and the JK Wedding Dance

  • John Deighton
  • Leora Kornfeld

United Breaks Guitars

David dao on united airlines.

  • Benjamin Edelman
  • Jenny Sanford

Marketing Reading: Digital Marketing

  • Joseph Davin

Social Strategy at Nike

  • Mikolaj Jan Piskorski
  • Ryan Johnson

The Tate's Digital Transformation

Social strategy at american express, mellon financial and the bank of new york.

  • Carliss Y. Baldwin
  • Ryan D. Taliaferro

The Walt Disney Company and Pixar, Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?

  • Juan Alcacer
  • David J. Collis

Dow's Bid for Rohm and Haas

  • Benjamin C. Esty

Finance Reading: The Mergers and Acquisitions Process

  • John Coates

Apple: Privacy vs. Safety? (A)

  • Henry W. McGee
  • Nien-he Hsieh
  • Sarah McAra

Sidewalk Labs: Privacy in a City Built from the Internet Up

  • Leslie K. John

Data Breach at Equifax

  • Suraj Srinivasan
  • Quinn Pitcher
  • Jonah S. Goldberg

Apple's Core

  • Noam Wasserman

Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

  • Barbara Feinberg

Apple Inc. in 2012

  • Penelope Rossano

Iz-Lynn Chan at Far East Organization (Abridged)

  • Anthony J. Mayo
  • Dana M. Teppert

Barbara Norris: Leading Change in the General Surgery Unit

  • Boris Groysberg
  • Nitin Nohria
  • Deborah Bell

Adobe Systems: Working Towards a "Suite" Release (A)

  • David A. Thomas
  • Lauren Barley

Home Nursing of North Carolina

Castronics, llc, gemini investors, angie's list: ratings pioneer turns 20.

  • Robert J. Dolan

Basecamp: Pricing

  • Frank V. Cespedes
  • Robb Fitzsimmons

J.C. Penney's "Fair and Square" Pricing Strategy

J.c. penney's 'fair and square' strategy (c): back to the future.

  • Jose B. Alvarez

Osaro: Picking the best path

  • James Palano
  • Bastiane Huang

HubSpot and Motion AI: Chatbot-Enabled CRM

  • Thomas Steenburgh

GROW: Using Artificial Intelligence to Screen Human Intelligence

  • Ethan S. Bernstein
  • Paul D. McKinnon
  • Paul Yarabe

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Arup: Building the Water Cube

  • Robert G. Eccles
  • Amy C. Edmondson
  • Dilyana Karadzhova

(Re)Building a Global Team: Tariq Khan at Tek

Managing a global team: greg james at sun microsystems, inc. (a).

  • Thomas J. DeLong

Organizational Behavior Reading: Leading Global Teams

Ron ventura at mitchell memorial hospital.

  • Heide Abelli

Anthony Starks at InSiL Therapeutics (A)

  • Gary P. Pisano
  • Vicki L. Sato

Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK (A)

  • John J. Gabarro

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Midland Energy Resources, Inc.: Cost of Capital

  • Timothy A. Luehrman
  • Joel L. Heilprin

Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES

  • Mihir A. Desai
  • Doug Schillinger

Cost of Capital at Ameritrade

  • Mark Mitchell
  • Erik Stafford

Finance Reading: Cost of Capital

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David Neeleman: Flight Path of a Servant Leader (A)

  • Matthew D. Breitfelder

Coach Hurley at St. Anthony High School

  • Scott A. Snook
  • Bradley C. Lawrence

Shapiro Global

  • Michael Brookshire
  • Monica Haugen
  • Michelle Kravetz
  • Sarah Sommer

Kathryn McNeil (A)

  • Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.
  • Jerry Useem

Carol Fishman Cohen: Professional Career Reentry (A)

  • Myra M. Hart
  • Robin J. Ely
  • Susan Wojewoda

Alex Montana at ESH Manufacturing Co.

  • Michael Kernish

Michelle Levene (A)

  • Tiziana Casciaro
  • Victoria W. Winston

John and Andrea Rice: Entrepreneurship and Life

  • Howard H. Stevenson
  • Janet Kraus
  • Shirley M. Spence

Partner Center

  • All Headlines

Marina Bay Sands at night

Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2020

A case study on the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore claimed the top spot in the annual review of case usage conducted by the Yale School of Management’s CRDT.

A case study on the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore claimed the top spot in the annual review of case usage conducted by the Yale School of Management’s Case Research and Development Team (SOM CRDT), dethroning "Coffee 2016", the top case in the last two annual surveys. Marina Bay Sands case examines the intersection of marketing, operations, and sustainability at the luxury resort.

Coffee 2016 fell to second place and a note on Search Fund Company Boards took the third spot. Cases on Shake Shack, Volkswagen, Cadbury, Netflix, Endesa, and the Mayo Clinic rounded out the top ten.

All of the top 40 cases are available for purchase from Yale Management Media .

The list had a particular international flavor this year with 19 of the cases featuring organizations located outside the United States. The top 40 featured 27 "raw" online cases and 13 "cooked" .pdf cases. The functional perspectives of the cases spanned the full range of interests at the Yale School of Management, from customers, the workforce, state & society to investors, entrepreneurship, and sourcing and managing funds.

Other year-end data for 2020 showed:

  • Consumption of “raw'' online cases by numbers of users and countries remained steady in 2020 as compared to 2019, but over 50 more titles were viewed, a roughly 30 percent increase.
  • Just under half of raw case users were from the U.S., up from a third the year before.
  • Customers bought 197 titles, 70 more than in 2019.
  • A third of the top 40 cases featured women in leadership positions.
  • Interest in SOM case studies remained steady with almost 150K page views of the SOM CRDT case directory .
  • Close to 80 percent of those who browsed the directory were from outside the U.S., a 20 percent increase over  2019.
  • The top 40 cases were supervised by 22 different Yale SOM faculty members, several supervising two cases or more.

SOM CRDT compiled its third annual top 40 list by combining data from publishers, Google Analytics, direct sales, and other measures of interest and adoption.

The complete list of Top 40 cases studies for 2020:

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Reproductive rights in America

Research at the heart of a federal case against the abortion pill has been retracted.

Selena Simmons-Duffin

Selena Simmons-Duffin

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The Supreme Court will hear the case against the abortion pill mifepristone on March 26. It's part of a two-drug regimen with misoprostol for abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images hide caption

The Supreme Court will hear the case against the abortion pill mifepristone on March 26. It's part of a two-drug regimen with misoprostol for abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

A scientific paper that raised concerns about the safety of the abortion pill mifepristone was retracted by its publisher this week. The study was cited three times by a federal judge who ruled against mifepristone last spring. That case, which could limit access to mifepristone throughout the country, will soon be heard in the Supreme Court.

The now retracted study used Medicaid claims data to track E.R. visits by patients in the month after having an abortion. The study found a much higher rate of complications than similar studies that have examined abortion safety.

Sage, the publisher of the journal, retracted the study on Monday along with two other papers, explaining in a statement that "expert reviewers found that the studies demonstrate a lack of scientific rigor that invalidates or renders unreliable the authors' conclusions."

It also noted that most of the authors on the paper worked for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of anti-abortion lobbying group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and that one of the original peer reviewers had also worked for the Lozier Institute.

The Sage journal, Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology , published all three research articles, which are still available online along with the retraction notice. In an email to NPR, a spokesperson for Sage wrote that the process leading to the retractions "was thorough, fair, and careful."

The lead author on the paper, James Studnicki, fiercely defends his work. "Sage is targeting us because we have been successful for a long period of time," he says on a video posted online this week . He asserts that the retraction has "nothing to do with real science and has everything to do with a political assassination of science."

He says that because the study's findings have been cited in legal cases like the one challenging the abortion pill, "we have become visible – people are quoting us. And for that reason, we are dangerous, and for that reason, they want to cancel our work," Studnicki says in the video.

In an email to NPR, a spokesperson for the Charlotte Lozier Institute said that they "will be taking appropriate legal action."

Role in abortion pill legal case

Anti-abortion rights groups, including a group of doctors, sued the federal Food and Drug Administration in 2022 over the approval of mifepristone, which is part of a two-drug regimen used in most medication abortions. The pill has been on the market for over 20 years, and is used in more than half abortions nationally. The FDA stands by its research that finds adverse events from mifepristone are extremely rare.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, the district court judge who initially ruled on the case, pointed to the now-retracted study to support the idea that the anti-abortion rights physicians suing the FDA had the right to do so. "The associations' members have standing because they allege adverse events from chemical abortion drugs can overwhelm the medical system and place 'enormous pressure and stress' on doctors during emergencies and complications," he wrote in his decision, citing Studnicki. He ruled that mifepristone should be pulled from the market nationwide, although his decision never took effect.

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Matthew Kacsmaryk at his confirmation hearing for the federal bench in 2017. AP hide caption

Matthew Kacsmaryk at his confirmation hearing for the federal bench in 2017.

Kacsmaryk is a Trump appointee who was a vocal abortion opponent before becoming a federal judge.

"I don't think he would view the retraction as delegitimizing the research," says Mary Ziegler , a law professor and expert on the legal history of abortion at U.C. Davis. "There's been so much polarization about what the reality of abortion is on the right that I'm not sure how much a retraction would affect his reasoning."

Ziegler also doubts the retractions will alter much in the Supreme Court case, given its conservative majority. "We've already seen, when it comes to abortion, that the court has a propensity to look at the views of experts that support the results it wants," she says. The decision that overturned Roe v. Wade is an example, she says. "The majority [opinion] relied pretty much exclusively on scholars with some ties to pro-life activism and didn't really cite anybody else even or really even acknowledge that there was a majority scholarly position or even that there was meaningful disagreement on the subject."

In the mifepristone case, "there's a lot of supposition and speculation" in the argument about who has standing to sue, she explains. "There's a probability that people will take mifepristone and then there's a probability that they'll get complications and then there's a probability that they'll get treatment in the E.R. and then there's a probability that they'll encounter physicians with certain objections to mifepristone. So the question is, if this [retraction] knocks out one leg of the stool, does that somehow affect how the court is going to view standing? I imagine not."

It's impossible to know who will win the Supreme Court case, but Ziegler thinks that this retraction probably won't sway the outcome either way. "If the court is skeptical of standing because of all these aforementioned weaknesses, this is just more fuel to that fire," she says. "It's not as if this were an airtight case for standing and this was a potentially game-changing development."

Oral arguments for the case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA , are scheduled for March 26 at the Supreme Court. A decision is expected by summer. Mifepristone remains available while the legal process continues.

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Misinformation & Fake News

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Widely shared fake news stories from 2020-23, widely shared fake news stories from 2016-18, fake news exercise.

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news case study

On August 20, 2022, a TikTok video was posted, claiming that Disney World was going to lower the drinking age to 18. It was stated that Disney World was battling the Florida government in court to get a resort exemption, which would allow anyone 18 and older to drink on property. The TikTok video acquired millions of views in just a couple days. This story was also posted on facebook, instagram, and Twitter. Shortly after, the story made it on ABC 10 News.

news case study

The video originated from an article posted on a blog called Mouse Trap News. Small segment of the original article below. Full article can be found here: "Drinking Age at Disney World May be Lowered to 18".

news case study

The Claim: Walt Disney Company was seeking a resort exemption to lower the drinking age to 18 years old, in Disney World, Florida.

To find the truth about this story, we will use Michael Caufield's  Four Moves and a Habit. 

1. Check for previous work: For this case, we looked up this claim on  Snopes ( fact checking resource ). They published an article on the story and labeled it as fake news satire. It was also aired on ABC 10 News, on their fact or fiction  segment, where it was determined to be fiction. The news segment can be viewed  here .

2. Go upstream to the source:  The TikTok video originally came from an article published by the same TikTok user, @mousetrapnews. They have their own webpage dedicated to news stories about disneyland parks.  The original article claimed that Disney was battling Florida in the courts over the minimum drinking age, but no evidence such as sources or court filings are mentioned.

3. Read laterally: Upon further exploration of the site itself, their  About  page actually bluntly admits that they only write fake stories about Disney Parks (see picture below).

4. Circle back: If we go back to the main article explaining the story, it reads in the description an explanation of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act passed by congress and signed into law by President Reagan. The article then asks the reader a question "Didn’t think you would get a history lesson from us, did you?" and "Now that we have set up the act, we have some Disney news to go with it.", these playful comments already makes the story a little suspicious. We can also check another form of social media the user has. They also had an Instagram account, where they state "Real Disney News That is 100% Fake" and "The Onion Of Disney News".

news case study

 Interestingly enough, many of the Mouse Trap News fake news stories have been featured on different news websites and shows, such as The Associated Press, USA Today, and on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon .

The Conclusion: The Walt Disney Company did not seek a resort exemption to lower the drinking age to 18 years old, in Disney World, Florida.

news case study

In October 2020, posts on social media and articles were published claiming that a new CDC study found the Majority of those infected with COVID-19 ‘always’ wore Masks (examples of the articles below). This claim was further elevated on October 15, 2020, a town hall broadcast by NBC, interviewed U.S. President Donald Trump. During this interview Trump stated, " But just the other day, they came out with a statement that 85% of the people that wear masks catch it." Trump's source for this claim was the new study published by the CDC. Full transcription of this interview can be found  here.  This information was ultimately, misinterpreted. Below is the CDC's tweet addressing the misinformation.

news case study

The Claim: CDC reported that the majority of those infected with COVID-19 ‘always’ wore masks.

  • Check for previous work:  For this case, we looked up this claim on  Snopes and FactCheck.org ( fake news fact checker ). Both resources claim the information as false and misleading.
  • Go upstream to the source:  The claim originated from a study published by the CDC titled,  Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities.   This study examined how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may be transmitted both within communities and between close contacts. While Trump used the correct percentage from the study, the data was misinterpreted. The study reported that 85 percent had reported wearing masks always or often. The study also found that for those in the group who had tested negative, 89 percent had reported wearing masks with the same frequency. The CDC pointed out that "People w/ and w/o COVID19 had high levels of mask use in public. Even for those who always wear a mask, there are activities where masks can’t be worn, like eating or drinking. People w/ COVID-19 were more likely to have eaten in a restaurant." The study noted, "Exposures and activities where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, including going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking, might be important risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection."
  • Read laterally: The claim is challenging the notion that wearing a mask is not effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. We have to take in consideration that this study was investigating mask wearing in community activities. CDC's website provides Science Briefs  which is a summary of the scientific evidence used to inform specific CDC guidance and recommendations. In one  brief , they state, "individual prevention benefit increases with increasing numbers of people using masks consistently and correctly." So, the people from the original study might have not been using their masks effectively if repeatedly taking them off in social settings. Other medical experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, states "Masks aren't perfect. They help, but they're not a guarantee that you're not going to get Covid if you wear a mask”.  
  • Circle back:  If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by other sources on the claim, circle back to the claim and investigate the background of that source. Using the  AllSides Media Bias Chart , we can see that  The Federalist  is listed on the very, far right side of the chart. The author of that article, Jordan Boyd, has her twitter page linked to her name and we can see that her posts are on the far right of the political spectrum. The  California Globe  is listed as a conservative leaning publication on  Snopes,  many of their other posts written by the author lean to the right of the political spectrum. You can also circle back to the original study the claims were based on and question the accurateness. One issue with the study is the data was self-reported through phone surveys. So, people could have inaccurately reported mask use since there was no video monitoring to confirm. 

Check Your Emotions:  The use of masks and its effectiveness against COVID-19 was a highly politicized topic when the pandemic started. By downplaying the severity of the virus (despite all the losses recorded by the CDC), President Trump's attitude about the pandemic and the use of masks contributed the view that the COVID-19 public health crisis should be viewed as a political issue.

Conclusion: The CDC did not report that the majority of those infected with COVID-19 ‘always’ wore masks.

For more examples on COVID-19 myths and using Michael Caufield's  Four Moves and a Habit to fact check them, visit our   COVID Vaccines Libguide.

  • Jan. 6 Capitol Riot
  • COVID-19 and Vit. C
  • Adrenochrome Shipment
  • RNA in Chicken Feed

The Claim: The U.S. Capitol police gave the protesters an "okay" to enter the Capitol.

  • Check for previous work: For this claim, we looked up this claim on Factcheck.org  (fake news fact checker). Factcheck.org debunks the story here.
  • Go upstream to the source: this claim originated from a video clip that was posted all over social media. This video clip was posted by a group of Trump supporters who attacked the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., after U.S. President Donald Trump did not win the 2020 presidential election, on January 6, 2021. They uploaded a video where shows a police officer “appears to tell” the group that they wouldn't stop them from entering the building. However, nowhere in the video does the police make that claim. A fake news website called, The Gateway Pundit, reported the same claim on Facebook and Instagram. Even a radio show in Texas called “Walton & Johnson,” ran a similar headline.
  • Read laterally: the next step would be to see what others are saying about this claim. In this case we should look at what the police officers in this video clip said about the incident. US Capitol police officers said in an email statement to factcheck.org , that the officers were blocking the whole way and attempting to de-escalate the situation by telling the crowd to not attack or assault and to remain calm. The Justice Department reported that about 140 police officers were assaulted that day.
  • Circle back: If you find yourself, getting overwhelmed by other sources on the claim, circle back and investigate the background of that source. If we look back to the actual incident on January 6, 2021, we know from ample public evidence released by the FBI showed Trump supporters violently assaulting officers at the Capitol. Other shown footage included Trump supporters breaking through a metal barrier outside the capital and breaking windows of the building to enter.

Conclusion: The U.S. Capitol police never gave protestors permission to enter the Capitol.

The Claim: High doses of vitamin C can cure COVID-19.

  • Check for previous work: Throughout the year 2020, many websites and social media posts were claiming how high doses of vitamin C could cure and/or be an effective treatment for COVID-19. For this case, we looked up this claim on Snopes (fact checkering source) which they claim the information as false and misleading.
  • Go upstream to the source: These claims stemmed from multiple studies detailing how vitamin C can help support the bodies immune system. According to Harvard Health Publishing , vitamin C has some marginal benefits for the common cold, such as reducing the duration of symptoms, if it is taken before catching a cold. Those benefits can be achieved with a diet that includes 200 milligrams of vitamin C, which is easily obtainable with a daily diet that includes fruits and vegetables .
  • Read laterally: To gain additional background on this claim, we can read multiple sources and this this case see if it has been tested in trials. The CDC ultimately reported that there was insufficient evidence for the panel to recommend either for or against vitamin C for the treatment of COVID-19 and non-hospitalized patients. Most of the trials had a limitation such as small sample sizes, study designs that had different doses or formulations of vitamin C and different outcome measures.
  • Circle back: If you find yourself, getting overwhelmed by other sources on the claim, circle back to the claim, and investigate the background of that source. In this particular claim, there is some truth and vitamin C is good for your immunity. However, some of the hype around these claims came from unpublished sources, fake news, personal websites, and from "influencers" on social media. We can refer to the CDC website and peer review published articles about the relationship between COVID-19 and vitamin C. Clinical trials can be found on the ClinicalTrials.gov website.

Conclusion: doses of vitamin C are not a proven as an effective cure for COVID-19.

Claim: Putin intercepts adrenochrome shipment

1. Check for previous work: In this case if we looked for "adrenochrome putin shipment" to check for previous work, we would find that politifact.com already did a fact check on this story.

2. Go upstream to the source: This example is from Real Raw News . This website is known for fabricating stories; if that's information you knew coming into this evaluation, you would know this is an automatic red flag and we could stop here. However, if you didn't know that, you could make a few judgements about what other stories are on the page to get a sense of the angle and political bias for this news source. If you research Andrei Zakharov, whose name was used as a source of information, you'll find that he is a Russian journalist that works for the BBC Russian Service, not as Russian FSB Agent. As a story featuring adrenochrome and blood harvesting with a history of conspiracy theories behind it, you should already be skeptical. Looking up some of the facts in the story help us determine more about its truthiness.

news case study

3. Read laterally: Given what we've learned from steps 1 and 2, at this point in the evaluation we could stop our search, dismiss the story, and move on with our lives. However, if we aren't satisfied with what we found, out next step is to look for other stories about this issue. Are other reports of this story coming from reputable sources? Is the story reported elsewhere with the same facts? Are there discrepancies in what's being reported? This is the step where we need to be paying extra attention to who's publishing the story that corroborates this narrative. On the internet you can find pretty much anything you look for, but "anything" isn't always an accurate story to trust.

4. Circle back: There's plenty of facts within this story for us to investigate and check. However, we eventually want to come to a conclusion and circling back will bring us to the question of whether this story has any truth. Given what we've learned: no, this is not factual.

Check your Emotions: The habit we're practicing throughout is about checking our emotions. Do I want this story to be true? Does this story sound too outrageous to be true? Am I attached to what the truth about this story is one way or another?

The Claim: chickens are not laying eggs, because RNA is being added to commercial chicken feed.

  • Check for previous work: For this case, we looked up this claim on politifact.com. This resource debunks it here.
  • Go upstream to the source: The claim originated from a published research article titled, " Messenger RNA sequencing and pathway analysis provide novel insights into the biological basis of chickens’ feed efficiency. " This study aimed to characterize the biological basis of differences between chickens with low and high feed efficiency, with a long-term goal of improving the ability to select for feed efficiency. Nowhere in the article did it mention adding RNA to chicken feed. RNA sequencing was being used to see how differences in feed efficiency can be explained by what levels of RNA are produced by the chickens' cells.
  • Read laterally: The next step would be to see what others are saying about this claim based on the article. PolitiFact actually did many email interviews with experts in the field, to talk about the claim. Multiple experts said commercial feed manufactures were not adding RNA to chicken feed, and that this claim was a misinterpretation of the data. The FDA also confirmed that RNA is not on its own, a feed additive. The articles cited from the original TikTok video are not relevant to the argument made in the video. The FDA also stated that there are many ways why a chicken's egg-laying behavior and quantity could change. They recommended consulting a licensed veterinarian, who can examine the animal and take a detailed medical and diet history.
  • Circle back: If you find yourself, getting overwhelmed by other sources on the claim, circle back to the claim, and investigate the background of that source. The first thing one should question is how RNA is being referred to in the post. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid, which is a naturally occurring nucleic acid found in all living cells. So, the claim of adding synthetic RNA into commercial feed does not make any sense. Furthermore, a search can be done to confirm what common factors are affecting chicken egg laying. Common reasons listed were management practices, improper nutrition, parasite infection, disease, lighting, and stress.

Conclusion: RNA is not being added to commercial chicken feed.

  • Trump Bills Michelle Obama
  • "Pizzagate"
  • Donald Trump Wins the Popular Vote
  • Hillary's Health
  • Muslims Demanding Handouts
  • Burning Tipis at Standing Rock
  • Student Desecrates Constitution

This example is from Before It's News; it's also featured on at least one other similarly fake website. The amounts supposedly owed by the Obamas are pretty unbelievable. Even if the presidential couple had indeed bought everything the article claims they did, the total would not come anywhere close to $11 billion, a figure equal to the GDP of a small country. It also includes some grammatical issues, and "eleventy" isn't a word.

news case study

It's also worth looking at the Before It's News site itself:

news case study

A few points:

  • "Alternative," "Spirituality," and "Unexplained" are terms that one doesn't find among the tabs on any legitimate news site.
  • No professional news organization lets just anyone "upload news."
  • The presence of advertising, and the nature or quality of the products being advertised, is not a sound indicator of the site's reliability. Ads for Duracell batteries and Mapquest could quite conceivably show up in the margins of The Seattle Times ' website , for example. Newspapers, in both their print and online versions, generally cannot survive without ad revenue.
  • This site deals heavily in sensationalist headlines (the ones underlined are just some of the most outrageous).

Among the most notorious fake news stories of 2016 was one alleging that Hillary Clinton was running a child-prostitution ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizzeria. This had real-world consequences for the employees of that pizzeria when an armed man decided to "self-investigate" the rumors, as described in  "Dissecting the #PizzaGate Conspiracy Theories,"  by Gregor Aisch, Jon Huang, and Cecilia Kang.

During the 2016 election, another persistent fake news story was that Donald Trump won both the popular vote and the electoral college vote. That Trump won the electoral college by a clear margin is undisputed. While the federal government did not release the official results of the popular vote until mid-2017, a great number of sources, ranging from the more conservative  The Wall Street Journal  to the more liberal  The New York Times reported Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by margins ranging from approximately a million votes (on Nov. 9, 2016) to three million (NYT estimate as of Feb. 10, 2017).

During the 2016 presidential campaign, fake news sites circulated several stories alleging that Hillary Clinton was in poor health, the implication being that she was not fit enough for the rigors of the presidency. Fake news site 70News dedicated an entire section to these rumors, most of which were bolstered by photos or video clips showing Clinton in moments of apparent frailty or disorientation. This illustrates a common fake news tactic: the use of tidbits of truthful imagery to support exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims. Laura Mallonee writes about this phenomenon in " How Photos Fuel the Spread of Fake News ."

news case study

Not all fake news is geared toward a conservative audience; liberals may be just as quick to believe falsehoods that seem to confirm their hopes and fears. A February 2017 story run by Alternative Media Syndicate claimed that police forces arrayed against the pipeline protesters at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation raided and burned a protester camp, offering graphic imagery of flaming tipis as proof. This story is completely false; the image was taken from a 2007 HBO film, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee . Snopes.com debunks the story here .

In February 2018, after surviving a shooting in which 17 of her schoolmates died, Florida teenager Emma Gonzalez became an outspoken proponent of gun control legislation. Not long after, imagery of her apparently tearing up a copy of the U.S. constitution went viral on right-wing websites. This imagery was doctored ; the originals came from a Teen Vogue photo shoot in which Gonzalez symbolically tore up a target sign. Photo manipulation is a time-honored propaganda tactic, but is now easier than ever thanks to Photoshop and other editing tools.

news case study

  • Robert Amnor story

Work in groups of 3-5. Using any methods you can think of, try to determine whether the story is (a) false, (b) true, or (c) a mix of truth and falsehood. Go back to the home page of this guide if you need some direction on what to look for.

Discuss which (if any) of the fake news hallmarks from the first page of this guide are evident in this story.

  • << Previous: Getting Started
  • Next: Types of Misinformation >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 16, 2024 12:19 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.lib.cwu.edu/fakenews
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How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study

Sapna Maheshwari

By Sapna Maheshwari

news case study

Eric Tucker, a 35-year-old co-founder of a marketing company in Austin, Tex., had just about 40 Twitter followers. But his recent tweet about paid protesters being bused to demonstrations against President-elect Donald J. Trump fueled a nationwide conspiracy theory — one that Mr. Trump joined in promoting. 

Mr. Tucker's post was shared at least 16,000 times on Twitter and more than 350,000 times on Facebook. The problem is that Mr. Tucker got it wrong. There were no such buses packed with paid protesters.

But that didn't matter.

While some fake news is produced purposefully by  teenagers in the Balkans  or  entrepreneurs in the United States  seeking to make money from advertising, false information can also arise from misinformed social media posts by regular people that are seized on and spread through a hyperpartisan blogosphere.

Here, The New York Times deconstructs how Mr. Tucker’s now-deleted declaration on Twitter the night after the election turned into a fake-news phenomenon. It is an example of how, in an ever-connected world where speed often takes precedence over truth, an observation by a private citizen can quickly become a talking point, even as it is being proved false.

Nov. 9, shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern

Mr. Tucker, who had taken photos of a large group of buses he saw near downtown Austin earlier in the day because he thought it was unusual, saw reports of protests against Mr. Trump in the city and decided the two were connected. He posted three of the images with the declaration: “Anti-Trump protestors in Austin today are not as organic as they seem. Here are the busses they came in. #fakeprotests #trump2016 #austin”

Mr. Tucker said he had performed a Google search to see if any conferences were being held in the area but did not find anything. (The buses were, in fact, hired by a company called Tableau Software, which was holding a conference that drew more than 13,000 people.)

“I did think in the back of my mind there could be other explanations, but it just didn’t seem plausible,” he said in an interview, noting that he had posted as a “private citizen who had a tiny Twitter following.”

He added, “I’m also a very busy businessman and I don’t have time to fact-check everything that I put out there, especially when I don’t think it’s going out there for wide consumption.”

Nov. 10, 12:49 a.m. Eastern

Several hours later, the first important step occurred. Mr. Tucker’s tweet was posted to the main Reddit community for Mr. Trump under the heading: “BREAKING: They found the buses! Dozens lined up just blocks away from the Austin protests.” It quickly generated more than 300 comments, some of which blamed the protests on George Soros, the liberal billionaire philanthropist, who is a frequent target of the group.

Nov. 10, around 9 a.m. Eastern

The next morning, the frenzy began. A user on Free Republic, a conservative discussion forum, linked to the Reddit thread about Mr. Tucker’s post, increasing the attention and spreading it further into the online world. Later, Facebook pages like Robertson Family Values, which is named for but not affiliated with the stars of “Duck Dynasty,” and Donald Trump Commander in Chief 2020, linked to the Free Republic discussion. Those posts were shared more than 5,000 times each, and more than 300,000 Facebook users have linked to the Free Republic thread.

Nov. 10, late morning through the afternoon

Sean Hughes, the director of corporate affairs for the bus company Coach USA North America, said he learned about the rumor involving its vehicles after receiving a couple of curious emails and hearing from a friend in New Jersey who had seen the claim on Facebook and wanted to know if it was true.

A reporter at the Fox television station in Austin contacted Mr. Hughes later that day, and he responded with a statement noting that “at no point were Coach USA buses involved in the Austin protests.” But that did little to stem the online furor.

“That reporter said, ‘You’re probably going to get a lot more phone calls because it’s all over the place,’” Mr. Hughes said in an interview on Thursday.

“You’re the second journalist to actually call me to see what was going on, no bloggers or anything, and we’re easily accessible on our website,” Mr. Hughes said.

He added, “I just kind of wish people looked into facts before they go ahead and do something like that, because it could be easily debunked based on a quick phone call or two, or a couple emails.”

During this time, Mr. Tucker was replying to queries on Twitter about whether he had proof to support his claim. He confirmed in a post that he “did not see loading or unloading” but that the buses were “quite near protests at right timing.” That admitted lack of evidence, however, had little effect. By about noon, Mr. Tucker’s initial post had been retweeted and liked more than 5,000 times. There was more to come.

Nov. 10, evening

Around 6 p.m., the conservative blog Gateway Pundit posted a story using Mr. Tucker’s images under the headline “Figures. Anti-Trump Protesters Were Bussed in to Austin #FakeProtests.” The post, which included a mention of “Soros money,” has been shared on Facebook more than 44,000 times, according to statistics on the website .

The story line became a prominent one throughout the conservative blogosphere, with other sites incorporating Mr. Tucker’s tweet into posts about paid protesters, referring to him as an eyewitness in Austin.

Then, shortly after 9 p.m., Mr. Trump sent this tweet:

Mr. Tucker considered deleting his tweet about the buses, but Mr. Trump’s message emboldened him. “I figured if he were to say something like that, I might be barking up the same tree,” Mr. Tucker said.

When asked if Mr. Trump might have been relying, at least tangentially, on the erroneous message he had sent about the buses, Mr. Tucker said, “I don’t want to say why Trump tweeted when he tweeted. I just don’t know and I truthfully don’t think any of us will ever know.”

Doreen Jarman, a spokeswoman for Tableau, said the company issued a statement to the local television station KVUE and The Austin American-Statesman on Nov. 11, saying that the buses were connected to the company’s conference.

The American-Statesman posted an article online shortly after noon, said Asher Price, the article’s author. Around 2 p.m., Mr. Tucker tweeted a link to his blog, where he acknowledged that he could have been “flat wrong,” and mentioned that he had voted for Gary Johnson. The rumor-checking website Snopes also debunked the claim that the buses were connected to any protests. None of this seemed to have much impact.

Mr. Tucker’s initial tweet continued to generate thousands of shares on Facebook through Free Republic and pages like Right Wing News and Joe the Plumber.

After midnight, Mr. Tucker deleted his original tweet, then posted an image of it stamped with the word “false” for posterity. It did not receive much attention.

After a week, that message had 29 retweets and 27 likes. The Snopes article has been shared about 5,800 times according to its website, a fraction of the number for the fake version of the news. Faced with the impact of his initial tweet, Mr. Tucker, who now has about 960 Twitter followers, allowed himself a moment of reflection.

“Anytime you see me in the future going out there where I think there’s going to be a big audience, I can assure you I’m going to try my best to be balanced with the facts and be very clear about what is opinion and what is not,” Mr. Tucker said.

If he could go back, he said, “I might have still tweeted it but very differently. I think it goes without saying I would have tried to make a more objective statement.”

Sapna Maheshwari covers advertising. She has won reporting awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the Newswomen’s Club of New York and was on Time’s list of “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2014.” More about Sapna Maheshwari

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CASE STUDY: How Satya Nadella overhauled Microsoft's cutthroat culture and turned it into a trillion-dollar 'growth mindset' company

CASE STUDY: How Satya Nadella overhauled Microsoft's cutthroat culture and turned it into a trillion-dollar 'growth mindset' company

Lehtikuva, Markku Ulander/AP Photo; Yuri Gripas/Reuters; Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters; Ruobing Su/Business Insider

Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft. Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates are the former CEOs.

  • Microsoft is a trillion-dollar company thanks largely to a culture shift led by Satya Nadella.
  • Since Nadella became CEO in 2014, he's encouraged the entire company to adopt a growth mindset, or the belief that skills are developed through hard work and challenges are opportunities to learn.
  • Before Nadella took over, Microsoft was characterized by competition between teams and between individual employees.
  • Now, in keeping with a growth mindset, Microsoft evaluates employees' performance based partly on how much they helped their colleagues succeed. The company also looks to learn from its former rivals in the tech industry.
  • Business Insider spoke with a range of company insiders and organizational researchers to get the inside story on how to change the culture of a 150,000+ employee software giant.
  • Microsoft is a case study in how a growth-mindset culture can help companies succeed in the future economy.
  • Click here for more BI Prime content.

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news case study

A cartoonist once drew an illustration depicting Microsoft's organizational chart as warring factions.

Take a look and you'll see three separate gangs: one blue, one green, one yellow. The gangs are assembled in pyramid-shaped hierarchies, with one leader at the top, two or three deputies at the next level, and so on.

A hand sticks out from each pyramid, pointing a gun directly at one of the others. It's clear. This is war.

And then Satya Nadella became CEO.

Nadella described the era of warring gangs in his 2017 memoir-manifesto, " Hit Refresh :" "Innovation was being replaced by bureaucracy. Teamwork was being replaced by internal politics. We were falling behind."

That particular cartoon - drawn in 2011 by a Google employee named Manu Cornet , no less - made changing Microsoft's culture Nadella's No. 1 goal as CEO.

"As a 24-year veteran of Microsoft, a consummate insider, the caricature really bothered me. But what upset me more was that our own people just accepted it," Nadella wrote. "When I was named Microsoft's third CEO in February 2014, I told employees that renewing our company's culture would be my highest priority."

Since becoming CEO, Nadella has been credited with a grand reinvention of Microsoft, exemplified by its market value exceeding $1 trillion, one of just a handful in history to hit that mark. When Nadella first took over, its market value was around $300 billion. The company has shifted from a has-been to a cloud powerhouse.

One of the keys to this transformation is a psychological concept that's become a mantra at Nadella's Microsoft: growth mindset .

Microsoft has traded a fixed mindset for a growth mindset

Growth mindset describes the belief that skills are developed through hard work and that challenges are opportunities to learn. Fixed mindset, on the other hand, refers to the belief that talent is innate and that struggling is a sign of failure. Research on the difference between growth and fixed mindset - and how they predict success - was pioneered by Stanford's Carol Dweck.

Early on in her career as a developmental psychologist, Dweck visited children at school and presented them with a series of increasingly difficult puzzles. Her goal was to better understand how people cope with failure. Some students, she found, weren't fazed by it.

In her 2006 book, " Mindset ," she recalls one 10-year-old boy who "pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips, and cried out, 'I love a challenge!'"

Dweck would spend the next five decades trying to figure out the difference between people who relish a good challenge and those who fear failure. Scores of studies published under her name suggest that people who see intelligence and abilities as learnable are more successful, personally and professionally, than people who think they're static.

Recently, Dweck coauthored a study that drew a link between growth mindset and organizational success . Employees who think their companies have a fixed mindset, the study found, interpret the company's culture as less collaborative, less ethical, and less willing to take risks than employees who think their companies have a growth mindset.

Given the rapid pace of technological change , these research findings are hyper-relevant. Across industries, adopting a growth mindset may be the only way to survive, and certainly the only way to thrive. When neither executives nor rank-and-file employees can predict what their jobs will look like next week, they need to embrace the resulting vulnerability, and get excited about learning.

Plenty of companies, in industries from telecommunications to early education, talk about cultivating a growth mindset , and about looking for job candidates who have it . But Microsoft is perhaps the most powerful example of an organization that has used growth mindset, and the psychology behind it, to rebuild its culture.

In many ways, fixed mindset and growth mindset can describe Microsoft before and after Nadella.

Nadella has encouraged Microsoft employees to be 'learn-it-alls' instead of 'know-it-alls'

bill gates microsoft

Gates' successor, Steve Ballmer, also known for an explosive temper, later presided over the atmosphere depicted in that cartoon Nadella was determined to address. Ballmer was known for cultivating a culture in which Microsoft teams warred with each other, as previously reported by Business Insider .

Nadella, who joined Microsoft as an engineer in 1992, came up in this culture, before becoming CEO in early 2014.

By that point, the company's bid to compete in the smartphone market through the purchase of Nokia was proving to be a burden and would lead it to write off nearly the entire $7.6 billion acquisition price. The personal computer market was shrinking, leading to declines in Microsoft's flagship Windows operating system business, and the Xbox One console's poorly received launch made it a punchline.

Microsoft's history as a tech-industry pioneer wouldn't help the company compete, Nadella wrote in an email to employees on his first day as CEO. The company needed a change in mindset.

"Our industry does not respect tradition - it only respects innovation," Nadella wrote on Feb. 4, 2014, in a memo to employees days after taking on the CEO role. "Every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this."

Nadella's leadership philosophy evolved into the adoption of a growth mindset. He asked employees to be "learn-it-alls," not "know-it-alls," and promoted collaboration inside and outside the organization. Employees are now evaluated partly on how much they've helped others on their team.

Microsoft introduced a new performance-management framework based on growth mindset

With any company culture shift, executives run the risk of promoting jargon more than action, and of HR representatives being the only ones who know there's a culture change underway.

Microsoft has tried to avoid that fate, not only by training its employees on the psychology of growth mindset, but also by embedding the concept into its daily work flow.

Prompts to adopt a growth mindset appear on posters throughout Microsoft's campuses ( something at which employees sometimes poke fun ). At the start of a meeting, a manager might remind colleagues to approach an issue with a growth mindset.

And in one of the most significant manifestations of growth mindset, Microsoft has eliminated stack ranking .

Stack ranking was famously used by Jack Welch when he was CEO of General Electric. Ballmer used the system at Microsoft to evaluate employees, although he did start phasing it out prior to his departure. Microsoft managers had to rank their employees from one to five in equal measure. Which meant that, no matter how good the employees were, some of them had to get the lowest ranking of a five.

Performance was defined in stack ranking as the quality of individual work, and that emphasis on individual performance was linked to fierce competition among Microsoft employees. It was also a barrier to Microsoft's innovation, since it facilitated a culture that rewarded a few standout team members and even gave employees incentive to hope their colleagues failed.

Kathleen Hogan

Microsoft leadership says its new system for evaluating employees instead rewards collaboration. Managers and employees meet often to discuss performance , in keeping with the general trend of companies nixing annual reviews and having managers regularly speak with employees about their work.

"What we really value is three dimensions," said Hogan , Microsoft's chief people officer. "One is your own individual impact, the second is how you contributed to others and others' success, and the third is how you leveraged the work of others."

To use Hogan's examples, maybe a more seasoned employee helped someone new to the team, or a software engineer built on another engineer's work instead of reinventing it.

Microsoft recently applied growth mindset to a new framework for managers : model, coach, care. That's a combination of setting a positive example for employees, helping the team adapt and learn, and investing in people's professional growth.

To measure the impact of these initiatives in real time, Microsoft emails employees with a different question every day asking how they're feeling about the company and its culture.

The shift from competition to collaboration might seem like it would be a breath of fresh air. And on the whole, it has been. But employees say it's presented its own challenges, too.

Nadella pushes Microsoft executives to take on stretch assignments

peter lee microsoft

Adopting a growth mindset can be uncomfortable, he said.

"Growth mindset is a euphemism because it can feel pretty painful, like a jump into the abyss," he said. "You need to be able and willing to confront your own fixed mindset - the things that make you believe something can't work. It's painful to go through personally, but when you get past it, it's tremendously rewarding."

The transition has been edifying, both in terms of his personal growth - Lee was recently named to the National Academy of Medicine - and Microsoft's growth in the industry, as it establishes itself as a meaningful player in healthcare tech.

Microsoft now sees the business case for letting go of its rivalries with other tech giants

Under Ballmer, Microsoft was notorious for prioritizing its Windows operating system and Office productivity applications businesses over the rest of the company - at one point, it even canceled the Courier tablet, which would have been an early, future-looking competitor to Apple's iPad, because it may have undermined Windows.

Likewise, Microsoft once shunned Linux, a free open-source operating system once considered the biggest threat to Windows. Ballmer once called it a "cancer." But early on in Nadella's time as CEO, Microsoft changed tack and proclaimed, " Microsoft loves Linux ."

It wasn't just Microsoft being friendly. There was a strong business case for blurring boundaries. At the time, Microsoft said it realized its customers used both Windows and Linux, and saw providing support to both as a business opportunity on-premise and in the cloud. That would have been unthinkable in the Ballmer years, but it's proven to be a savvy business move: Microsoft recently hinted that Linux is more popular on its Azure cloud platform than Windows itself.

Microsoft's relationship with Salesforce has followed a similar trajectory. Whereas Ballmer had frequent and public bouts with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff , Microsoft under Nadella put aside its rivalry with Salesforce - which competes directly with Microsoft's customer-relationship-management Dynamics 365 product - in order to ink a big cloud deal that was good for the company overall.

Nadella even invites leaders from companies across industries to Microsoft's CEO Summit so the executives can learn from each other. Ballmer, meanwhile, famously snatched an employee's iPhone at a company meeting and pretended to stomp on it.

Which is not to say Microsoft always plays nice in the Nadella era. The company last summer changed licensing agreements to raise prices - often significantly - when customers choose to run certain Microsoft software on rival clouds including Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud. And it's been trading public barbs with AWS over the still contested $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract.

The Trump administration awarded the contract to Microsoft over AWS, but Amazon is challenging the decision in court, alleging political interference. In February, a judge ruled that Microsoft must stop working on the contract.

The culture shift at Microsoft is an ongoing process

The beginning of Microsoft's culture shift was rocky.

In "Hit Refresh," Nadella recalls a Microsoft manager who announced in the early days, "Hey, Satya, I know these five people who don't have a growth mindset." Nadella writes, "The guy was just using growth mindset to find a new way to complain about others. That is not what we had in mind."

Even today, Microsoft leaders acknowledge that the culture change isn't over . Things have improved under Nadella, but the company culture is still far from perfect.

Diversity is an opportunity for improvement at Microsoft. Much like the larger technology industry , Microsoft still employs relatively few women and people of color in leadership and technical roles.

One of Nadella's biggest gaffes as CEO happened early on in his tenure, when he suggested women should not ask for raises, but rely on "faith" and "karma." After these comments, Nadella sent out an internal memo admitting to his mistake, explaining how he planned to learn from it, and stating his belief in "equal pay for equal work."

Nadella writes in "Hit Refresh" that in some ways he's glad to have belly-flopped in public. "It helped me confront an unconscious bias I didn't know I had," Nadella writes, "and it helped me find a new sense of empathy for the great women in my life and at my company."

Kevin Oakes, who runs a human-resources research company that helped Microsoft with its shift toward growth mindset, sees Nadella as an exemplar of a leader during a transition. That's largely because Nadella practices the growth mindset he preaches. In a presentation at Talent Connect, an annual conference organized by LinkedIn (which is owned by Microsoft), Oakes said Nadella has been Microsoft's "culture champion." Nadella understands that organizational culture is critical to the company's performance, Oakes said.

But today's Microsoft is still far from perfect. The positive contributions of growth mindset have not yet matched up with diversity and equity for Microsoft's workforce, according to some employees. Microsoft is the subject of a gender discrimination lawsuit still pending , which was denied class-action status by a federal judge. Employees have also openly alleged sexual harassment and discrimination.

The company released its first diversity and inclusion report in 2019 to track its progress in hiring - and retaining - a more diverse workforce. Results from that report showed that minorities in Microsoft's US offices earned $1.006 for every $1 white employees earned. A closer look reveals that white men still held more high-paying leadership positions than women or underrepresented minorities.

Meanwhile, Microsoft leadership still has some philosophical differences with employees as it relates to employee activism. Employee groups have protested Microsoft and Microsoft-owned GitHub's relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and more recently, some employees have said Microsoft's relationship with oil and gas companies is at odds with the company's goal to become "carbon negative" by 2030.

Xbox Adaptive Controller

Microsoft has been equally vocal about diversity and inclusion within its customer base, building products that are accessible to as many users as possible. Ben Tamblyn, a 15-year company veteran and Microsoft's director of inclusive design, mentioned Xbox as a prime example. In 2018, Tamblyn helped oversee the release of the Xbox Adaptive Controller , which makes it easier for gamers who have limited mobility or physical impairments to play. (Interviews with Neal and Tamblyn were arranged by Microsoft's public-relations firm.)

Microsoft is a case study in growth mindset

Microsoft's culture shift, and its accompanying business turnaround, is already a case study in business schools and in reports from management consultancies and research centers . That makes sense to Mary Murphy, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University and Dweck's co-author on the paper about growth mindsets within organizations.

Growth mindset is essential for innovation in the technology industry, Murphy said, where change rarely happens incrementally. Instead, there are big inflection points from which there's no return. Microsoft, Murphy added, needs to be on the "cutting edge" of growth mindset in order to stay relevant.

Nadella, for his part, has modeled a growth mindset from the top of the organization, not least in his response to his tone-deaf comments about gender and compensation. "I learned, and we will together use this learning to galvanize the company for positive change," Nadella wrote in the memo he sent apologizing for the comments. "We will make Microsoft an even better place to work and do great things."

Got a tip? Contact reporters Shana Lebowitz via email at [email protected] and Ashley Stewart via email at [email protected] , message her on Twitter @ashannstew, or send her a secure message through Signal at 425-344-8242 .

NOW WATCH: How networks treat the Democratic debates like reality TV

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Wegovy users keep weight off for 4 years, new analysis finds

An injectable prescription weight loss medicine.

Patients taking Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy obesity treatment maintained an average of 10% weight loss after four years, potentially boosting the drugmaker’s case to insurers and governments to cover the cost of the effective but expensive drug.

The Danish drugmaker presented the new long-term data on Tuesday at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice, Italy, in a new analysis from a large study for which substantial results had been  published  last year.

“This is the longest study we’ve conducted so far of semaglutide for weight loss,” Martin Holst Lange, Novo’s head of development, said in an interview, referring to the active ingredient in Wegovy and the company’s diabetes drug Ozempic.

“We see that once the majority of the weight loss is accrued, you don’t go back and start to increase in weight if you stay on the drug,” he added.

The data could go some way to convince insurers and governments to reimburse Wegovy, which ranges from $200 to almost $2,000 a month in the 10 countries it has been  launched  in so far.

Wegovy was the first to market from a newer generation of medicines known as GLP-1 agonists, originally developed for diabetes, that  provide  a new way to address record obesity rates. Eli Lilly launched its rival drug Zepbound in the United States in December. Neither company has been able to produce enough  to meet unprecedented demand .

Dr. Simon Cork, Senior Lecturer in Physiology from Anglia Ruskin University, said Britain’s public health service’s decision to limit coverage of the medicine to two years was “because of questionable long-term effectiveness”.

The new data showing benefits continuing to four years may go some way to negating that argument, he said.

How Wegovy benefits the heart

The 17,604-patient trial tested Wegovy not for weight loss but for its heart protective benefits for overweight and obese patients who had pre-existing heart disease but not diabetes. Participants were not required to track diet and exercise because it was not an obesity study.

Around 17% of trial participants stopped using Wegovy due to side effects, the most common of which was nausea, Novo said in another analysis in the trial published by the drugmaker on Tuesday.

Patients in the trial, called Select, lost an average of nearly 10% of their total body weight after 65 weeks on Wegovy. That percentage weight-loss was roughly sustained year-on-year until the end of about four years, where weight loss stood at 10.2%, the company said.

A third new analysis on Select published by Novo on Tuesday showed that the heart protective benefits of Wegovy to patients in the trial occurred regardless of their weight before starting on the drug and regardless of how much weight they lose on it.

“We now also understand that while we know that body weight loss is important, it’s not the only thing driving the cardiovascular benefit of semaglutide treatment”, Lange told Reuters in the interview.

The Select study, released in August, showed that Wegovy reduced the risk of a major cardiovascular event such as a stroke by 20% in overweight or obese people with a history of heart disease.

Novo says researchers are still working to understand the mechanisms of the cardiovascular protection that semaglutide provides.

Wegovy and Zepbound are being tested to assess their benefits in a variety of other medical uses such as lowering heart attack risk and for sleep apnea and kidney disease.

The weight loss in the heart trial was less than the average of 15% weight loss in earlier Wegovy obesity studies before the drug was launched in the United States in June 2021.

East Bay Times

Housing | Santa Cruz County a case study on pandemic…

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Housing | Santa Cruz County a case study on pandemic Project Roomkey

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The two-year statewide assessment of Project Roomkey’s outcomes was commissioned jointly by the nonprofit philanthropy organization California Health Care Foundation and the family philanthropic trust of Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, via Abt Associates and was released May 6.

The assessment comes little more than a month after Santa Cruz County’s Housing for Health Division released its second three-year strategic homeless framework as part of a late-March study session with the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.

According to the “ Project Roomkey Evaluation Final Report ,” the state-funded Project Roomkey was created in response to the coronavirus outbreak and initially was designed to move medically vulnerable individuals with complex needs off the streets and into their own rooms, with meals and laundry service.

The program offered an alternative to traditional “congregate” shelters, which typically grouped individuals in the same rooms, dorm-style. Before its conclusion, the program’s mission expanded to move sheltered individuals into more permanent housing.

During its operations, Santa Cruz County set up six Project Roomkey shelters at local motels — four in Santa Cruz and two in Watsonville — and 257 rooms with the help of three rounds of state program funds, according to the report. Initially, county employees were repurposed as “Disaster Service Workers” to staff the sites, roles later filled out with new community hires. Some 1,385 individuals were housed during the program’s more than two-year run, according to the report. The outcomes of another 44 individuals were unaccounted for in the report.

Of the Roomkey participants, about 27% exited to permanent housing and nearly 6% to temporary housing, according to the report. About 25% entered congregate shelters and 15% to an unsheltered location. More than 5% went into short- or long-term institutional settings and 18% departed to unknown or “other” locations.

“PRK (Project Roomkey) staff reported closing sites before all participants had been connected to housing was difficult, knowing that some participants would return to homelessness,” the report noted.

The report highlighted some of the county’s struggles in meeting program participants’ behavioral health needs and those with acute health conditions called for a higher level of care that neither the available public health nurses nor hotel staff were able to regularly provide.

Those interviewed for the case study, however, generally gave high ratings to the accommodations, basic services and staffing, according to the report.

“When reflecting on their time in the program, most participants reported feeling positively about the experience,” the study. noted. “Many appreciated the privacy and safety in comparison to a more traditional shelter.”

Santa Cruz County’s new three-year framework , retroactive to January, aims to: lower the average time spent homeless by 10% each year; reduce the number of people returning to homelessness each year by 20%; ensure community partners are collecting outcome and community needs data; and increase outreach and access to services countywide.

The initial three-year framework, in effect from January 2021 to January 2024, called for a 25% reduction in households experiencing homelessness and a 50% drop in households living outside and in their vehicles.

During that period, Santa Cruz County supported the successful applications for three state-funded Project Homekey applications, saw a single-year homeless count reduction of 21.5%, the lowest annual point-in-time count tally since its local inception in 2007, and counted 911 people who moved from homelessness to permanent housing between July 2022 and June 2023. Last year, the Housing for Health Partnership also launched a redesigned Coordinated Entry System, tracking relevant data regarding county homelessness, and considered a factor — along with increased Housing Authority vouchers — in the number of housing placements.

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Summer of 2023 was hottest in 2,000 years, study finds

A digital billboard on a building shows a temperature of 113 degrees at 2:36 p.m.

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An extreme summer marked by deadly heat waves, explosive wildfires and record warm ocean temperatures will go down as among the hottest in the last 2,000 years, new research has found.

The summer of 2023 saw the temperature in the Northern Hemisphere soar 3.72 degrees above the average from 1850 to 1900, when modern instrumental recordkeeping began, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature. The study focused on surface air temperatures across the extra-tropical region, which sits at 30 to 90 degrees north latitude and includes most of Europe and North America.

June, July and August last year were also 3.96 degrees warmer than the average from the years 1 through 1890, which the researchers calculated by combining observed records with tree ring records from nine global regions.

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Aggressive and impactful reporting on climate change, the environment, health and science.

Jan Esper, the study’s lead author and a professor of climate geography at Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany, said that he was not expecting summer last year to be quite so anomalous, but that he was ultimately not surprised by the findings. The high temperatures built on an overall warming trend driven by greenhouse gas emissions and were further amplified by the onset of El Niño in the tropical Pacific.

“It’s no surprise — this really, really outstanding 2023 — but it was also, step-wise, a continuation of a trend that will continue,” Esper told reporters Monday. “Personally I’m not surprised, but I am worried.”

He said it was important to place 2023’s temperature extreme in a long-term context. The difference between the region’s previous warmest summer, in the year 246, and the summer of 2023 is 2.14 degrees, the study found.

The heat is even more extreme when compared with the region’s coldest summers — the majority of which were influenced by volcanic eruptions that spewed heat-blocking sulfur into the stratosphere. According to the study, 2023’s summer was 7.07 degrees warmer than the coldest reconstructed summer from this period, in the year 536.

“Although 2023 is consistent with a greenhouse gases-induced warming trend that is amplified by an unfolding El Niño event, this extreme emphasizes the urgency to implement international agreements for carbon emission reduction,” the study says.

The sweltering summer temperatures contributed to scores of heat illnesses and deaths, including at least 645 heat-associated deaths in Maricopa County, Ariz., where Phoenix saw temperatures of 110 degrees or hotter for a record 31 consecutive days.

Wildfires exacerbated by high temperatures raged across Canada and sent hazardous smoke down the East Coast of the United States and across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, ocean temperatures off Florida soared above 101 degrees , the temperature of a hot tub.

A vendor prepares his umbrella as hot days continue in Manila, Philippines on Monday, April 29, 2024. Millions of students in all public schools across the Philippines were ordered to stay home Monday after authorities cancelled in-person classes for two days as an emergency step due to the scorching heat and a public transport strike. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Climate & Environment

Warmest April on record extends planet’s hot streak to 11 months

With an average surface temperature of 59.05 degrees, the month was about 0.25 of a degree warmer than the previous hottest April, in 2016.

May 8, 2024

Multiple climate agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, have declared 2023 the hottest year on record globally.

Notably, Copernicus found that the summer months of June, July and August last year measured 1.18 degrees warmer than average — still hot, but not nearly as warm as the study’s findings for the Northern Hemisphere’s extra-tropical region.

That region was especially hot in part because it is home to so much land, which warms faster than oceans, said Karen McKinnon, an assistant professor of statistics and the environment at UCLA who did not work on the study. (June, July and August are also winter months in the Southern Hemisphere.)

McKinnon said the study’s findings are not unexpected, as there was already good evidence that the summer of 2023 was record-breaking when compared with measurable data going back to the mid-1800s. But by going back 2,000 years, the researchers also helped illuminate “the full range of natural variability that could have occurred in the past,” she said.

She noted that tree rings can serve as a helpful proxy for climate conditions in the past, as trees tend to grow more in a given year if they receive the right amount of warmth, water and sunshine. But although last year’s heat was undeniable, the study also underscores that the summer temperature in this region was notably higher than the global target of 2.7 degrees — or 1.5 degrees Celsius — of warming over the preindustrial period, which was established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2015.

It also notes that some recent research has found the data used to calculate that baseline may be off by several tenths of a degree, meaning it could need to be recalibrated, with the target landing closer to an even more challenging 1.6 or 1.7 degrees.

“I don’t think we should use the proxy instead of the instrumental data, but there’s a good indication that there’s a warm bias,” Esper said. “Further research is needed.”

Glendora, CA - January 03: Storm clouds move on over downtown Los Angeles after rainfall totals of a quarter to one half inch of precipitation overnight on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 in Glendora, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

World & Nation

The planet is dangerously close to this climate threshold. Here’s what 1.5°C really means

Every bit of planetary warming will have impacts beyond those already occurring, including biodiversity loss, longer heat waves and extreme rainfall.

Feb. 1, 2024

McKinnon said there is always going to be some degree of uncertainty when comparing present-day temperatures to past temperatures, but that the 1.5-degree limit is as symbolic as it is literal. Many effects of climate change, including worsening heat waves, have already begun.

“There are definitely tipping points in the climate system, but we don’t understand the climate system well enough to say 1.5 C is the temperature for certain tipping points,” she said. “This is just a policy goal that gives you a temperature change that maybe would be consistent with averting some damages.”

In fact, the study’s publication comes days after a survey of 380 leading scientists from the IPCC revealed deep concerns about the world’s ability to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. That report, published last week in the Guardian , found that only 6% of surveyed scientists think the 1.5-degree limit will be met. Nearly 80% said they foresee at least 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming.

The report caused a stir among the scientific community, with some saying it focused too heavily on pessimism and despair. But Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with UCLA who participated in the survey, said its findings are worthy of consideration.

“There are many kinds of scientists, myself included, who are very worried and concerned and increasingly alarmed by what is going on and what the data is showing,” Swain said during a briefing Friday . “But if anything, I think that really results in a stronger sense of resolve and urgency to do even more, and to do better.”

Indeed, while scientists continue to weigh in on whether — or how quickly — humanity can alter the planet’s worsening warming trajectory, Esper said he hopes the latest study will serve as motivation for changing outdated modes of energy consumption that contribute to planet-warming greenhouse gases.

“I am concerned about global warming — I think it’s one of the biggest threats out there,” he said.

He added that he is particularly worried for his children and for younger generations who will bear the brunt of adverse climate outcomes. There is a strong likelihood that the summer of 2024 will be even hotter, the study says.

“The longer we wait, the more extensive it will be, and the more difficult it will be to mitigate or even stop that process and reverse it,” Esper said. “It’s just so obvious: We should do as much as possible, as soon as possible.”

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Hayley Smith is an environment reporter for the Los Angeles Times, where she covers the many ways climate change is reshaping life in California, including drought, floods, wildfires and deadly heat.

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Case Study Finds New Yorkers Who Experienced Floods Felt Financially Unprepared

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released a white paper about the impact of flooding on low- and moderate-income households in New York City. “ Flooding Impacts on Household Finances: Insights from Focus Groups in New York City ,” draws from focus groups the New York Fed’s Community Development team conducted in 2023 with 31 New York City residents whose homes have flooded.

The report found that most renters reported having no renters’ insurance to cover the cost of lost clothes, furniture, or equipment. No focus group participants reported receiving payment from renters’ insurance after experiencing flooding. Additionally, no participants reported being offered or receiving public disaster assistance following a flood.

The New York Fed’s Community Development team conducted the focus groups to help improve estimates of typical financial impact of flooding, including property loss and repairs, lost labor hours, and health impacts. Separate New York Fed research has found that approximately one in ten low- to moderate-income people, immigrants, and racial and ethnic minorities in New York City live in a flood-prone census tract.

The white paper found that the most consequential flooding effects were on housing safety and stability. In addition to water damage and lost possessions, worsened mental and physical health are key consequences of flooding. The report found that recovery in the aftermath of flooding can be costly, isolating, and time consuming.

Among the other key findings:

  • Economic barriers, including housing affordability, prevent some residents from moving to higher ground. Positive community connections also keep residents in their neighborhoods despite higher flood risk.
  • Residents reported that they were highly dependent on friends, family, volunteers, and local nonprofit organizations for aid and assistance after flooding.
  • Residents who lived alone or lacked strong social ties to their community reported a general sense of loneliness following a flood. They said they had trouble finding assistance and navigating an opaque relief structure on their own.

“The people we spoke with reported everything from depression to homelessness following a flood,” said Dyvonne Body, the report’s author. “The future financial supports they told us would protect others in flood-prone communities include adequate insurance, emergency grant assistance to replace lost income, and a grace period for debt repayment.”

The case study was developed as part of the New York Fed's Community Development efforts, which have three areas of focus: health , household financial well-being , and climate risk .


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