With the rise of environmental education at all levels and social justice movements globally, we all strive to be ethical consumers and eliminate the feeling of guilt. However, many of us are too busy (or lazy) to change our lifestyle and «make the world a better place»—instead, we expect brands to do so, offering us some simple and easy-to-employ patterns of guilt-free consumption.

This is the most fascinating time of the year. One day we are reflecting on the year behind us, taking stock of what has been accomplished and enjoying a well-deserved break. And the very next day we are starting from zero. New dreams, new promises and new goals to reach. For the business world, it’s just like the first day of school. The best chance to purge, get organized and most importantly, think and act differently. 

Traditionally, at the end of each year the research firm JWT Intelligence releases the list of Top 100 Things to Watch for the coming 12 months. While in 2013 the most trending topics were the rise of «appcessories,» peer-to-peer partnerships, detoxification and mindful living, in 2014 we might witness the boom of haptic technology, so-called heads-up movement and development of edible packaging.

Cities are gradually evolving into more personalized spaces, allowing citizens to organize their life in the most sustainable way. Originally being areas for masses, cities are shifting towards focusing on individuals—their intellectual and physical needs, their passions, social and environmental views and aspirations.

Within the past year, there have been two major trends in re-arranging urban life: on the one hand, cities tend to be eco-friendly and more comfortable; on the other hand, the urban environment integrates technology for communal living, thus gets more tech-oriented and somewhat futuristic.

Find some most vibrant trends in urban living that will gain momentum in 2014, below.

IBM has unveiled its annual report “5 in 5,” featuring predictions on computing technologies—cognitive systems—that will develop within the next 5 years to improve our lives. The forecast is focusing on such areas as learning, retail, healthcare, urban living and safety—each theme is illustrated by a vivid infographics and animated video plus a prediction provided by a researcher/expert in the field. Find highlights from the paper below.

Vending machines have a long history dating back to 215BC. Greek mathematician Hero created the first vending machine dispensing holy water in exchange for a coin. Now fast forward to 1880 where the more modern style vending machine was created in London dispensing postcards. From there, it didn’t take long for vending machines to pop up in the U.S. and the rest of the world.