Under the cobblestones, the university: engaging collective innovation to rethink our practices

This article discusses the potential of collective action to foreshadow and create spaces that stand in opposition to entrepreneurial and neoliberal logics that affect university governance, its evaluation standards and professional practices. Various forms of resistance to the neoliberal turn in universities exist, we can think of the long tradition of participative research undertaken in its various forms. However we question the existing contradictions between available theories and methodologies, on one side, and the forms of resistance, especially individual, that they generate in current university contexts, on the other. We discuss this inadequacy from our experience of creating a department in social innovation. We suggest that professors may leverage their involvement in community service to create spaces of collective resistance in our institutions serving as places of foreshadowing, consultation and mobilization to ‘take over’ the university.

Keywords: Critical university praxis, collective action, engaged scholarship, community service, university neoliberalization.