Hi all, just discovered this discussion through another post and thought some of you might be interested to know we're currently building a collective action platform for academics: Project Free Our Knowledge
The basic premise is the same as Collaction (who I think are doing great things) but targeted more at collective action problems in academia (of which there are many). In general, any researcher can propose a new behaviour they want to see their peers adopt (generally an open science practice of some kind), put it out to the crowd, and then when the critical mass is met everyone carries out the action together. The project is still in its infancy (haven't actually reached the target threshold on any campaigns yet), but I'm hoping in time that we can grow the community and host ever-larger campaigns to reform academia.
I agree with the view expressed here that collective action between institutions could be a real game-changer, but also think that academics themselves have a lot of power to reform academia -- we just haven't been organising effectively to put that latent power into use. E.g. in the case of journal publishing, we could be supporting new journal systems through collective action, which would 'kickstart' their reputation/prestige (which depends entirely on the content we provide them) and allow individuals to transition their value from legacy systems to these new systems without risk to their careers. Impact factors roll around every two years, and in the meantime, a public display of support for progressive journals/systems would be a strong signal to universities to update their hiring procedures to reflect this.
But having said that, I do think that the ideal solution to this problem would be a combined, multilevel collective action across both researchers and institutions at the same time, e.g., researchers agree to support alternative venues at the same time as institutions agree to reward those venues moving forward. Hopefully this is something that our platform could evolve to cover, but in the short term we're focussing on researcher behaviours because those seem like the simplest and most tractable way to create change.
Any and all feedback welcome! :)