Dr Bradley Rolfe – Modelling the Future: Business Intelligence

What makes the future so hard to predict?  Why, in an age of near instantaneous access to the sum total of human knowledge, do we still have only the most limited ability to accurately model events, even when those events occur in the very near future?  In this context, the very notion of ‘business intelligence’ is limited, if we consider intelligence as our ability to understand enough of the future to actually take advantage of it.  Is the future inherently unknowable, or does the advent of ‘big data’ finally give us the ability to see patterns of human behaviour where previously there has only been ambiguity, uncertainty and doubt?

This presentation will explore the problem of modelling the future through the conceptual framework of complexity theory, and discuss its implications for business intelligence activities in the 21st century.


Dr Bradley Rolfe – Portfolio/Program Manager at Transport NSW

Bradley has been a project, program and portfolio manager in the Australian ICT industry for over twenty years. He has overseen the successful delivery of projects for nearly twenty organisations, including Telstra, Qantas, Suncorp, Macquarie Group, the Department of Environment & Conservation and the National Office of Information Economics. He is currently a Program Manger within the Intelligent Congestion Management Program for Transport for NSW.

Bradley holds an MBA and a PhD in Project Management from Macquarie University. He is an adjunct lecturer in project-based management methods and leadership at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and the Sydney University Business School. He has published a number of journal articles and book chapters on project management practice, including a chapter in the recently published “Face to Face with Practice: Existential Forms of Research for Management Enquiry” (Taylor & Francis).

Bradley’s research interests include philosophical hermeneutics, complexity theory, and the history of project management practices. In his spare time he enjoys poetry, theatre and good wine.