The MIT150 Planning Committee developed a set of principles—or top priorities—for the celebration of MIT's sesquicentennial. These guidelines informed the programming and decision-making of the steering committee, its subcommittees, and all departments, labs, and centers who planned activities related to MIT150.
- Be "distinctively MIT": convey the creative spirit and the culture of MIT and its tradition of participatory creativity.
- Focus more on "doing" than on "talking" and address issues of national and international importance, perhaps through a major research initiative on a key issue and/or a major service learning project.
- Break the popular stereotypes about MIT. Reflect the full spectrum of who we are, as well as the core truths of MIT. Emphasize the fun, openness, diversity, and creativity of the Institute.
- Celebrate the past and envision the future. Use the anniversary as an opportunity to make history, as well as reflect it. Reflect on the role of technology (and MIT) in our society over the past 150 years.
- Create an opportunity for our community to imagine/define the ideal MIT for the 21st century.
- Engage the full MIT community (alumni, faculty, staff, and students).
- Communicate to the world. Use this as an opportunity to educate and inspire the world about science, technology, and MIT.
- Engage students in developing programming.
- Be as "green" as possible. Consider impact of events on neighborhood and traffic; use goods made from sustainable and/or recycled materials; use energy wisely; employ electronic technology to mitigate paper waste and overproduction of materials; minimize travel; support local purveyors/vendors.