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GSX 2021 Addresses How to Avoid the Trap of High Conflict

Media Contact:
Andy Cutler
[email protected]

Hybrid conference tackles security threats and challenges faced across the globe

Orlando, FL (28 September 2021)Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2021, the annual conference of ASIS International, the world’s largest association for security management professionals, continued today in Orlando, FL and online. Concluding Wednesday 29 September, the event features an extensive program with more than 100+ education sessions, daily keynote speakers and general sessions, and a show floor with more than 300 leading innovators from the security industry.

Tuesday’s keynote presentation from award-winning investigative journalist, best-selling author, and leading authority on human conflict Amanda Ripley shared insights from years of research and reporting on the topic of “high conflict.” The presentation, Breaking the Spell of High Conflict, addressed the cycle in which people, organizations, and movements often get trapped.

“We don’t need to get out of conflict,” Ripley shared. “We need to get out of ‘high’ conflict, or ‘us vs. them’ conflict—conflicts that become self-perpetuating and all-consuming, in which almost everyone ends up worse off.” She provided additional insights, such as the ‘fire starters’ of high conflict, as well as guidance on how to mitigate cycles of high conflict:

  • Avoid ‘conflict entrepreneurs’ (i.e., those that draw others into conflict)
  • Break out of self-identified groups
  • Resist the urge to humiliate others
  • Investigate the ‘understory’ of your adversary

With 100+ sessions throughout the week spread across six themed learning theaters on the exhibit floor and online, the GSX 2021 is delivering more than 115 hours of security education in all. All sessions are recorded and will be available on-demand through the GSX digital platform through the end of 2021.

Tuesday’s Security Management Live broadcast featured discussions ranging from digital transformation to the importance of organizations having policies in place to assist staff members who are victims of domestic violence.

According to Mark Folmer, CPP, president & chief operating officer, Robotic Assistance Devices, “Digital transformation is more than a buzzword. It is not a ‘man vs. machine’ issue. Rather, it should be seen through the lens of how people and technology can work together to create better processes and solutions.”

"Companies need to take domestic violence seriously because if one employee is at risk, all employees are at risk," said Susan Hunter, president, Security 101. "When someone moves out of a living situation with an abuser, that's an incident that can trigger action from the abuser transferring that risk to the workplace--and the workplace is a location where the abuser knows they can reliably locate and confront their victim. Unfortunately, research shows that only 15% of employers have domestic violence policies in place to assist their employees. The biggest impact employers can make is to educate current staff and encouraging new employees to inform the company of their situation during the on-boarding process, without the fear of it impacting their employment status."

Tuesday’s Game Changer session, Post-Pandemic Workplace: The Mental Health and Wellness of Employees, addressed how the pandemic hastened the pace of change and exacerbated the behavioral health crisis. "Our organization has been coming back to the basics of wellbeing and mental health," said Shane Durdin, vice president of global health, safety, and environment, Jacobs. "That requires understanding the difference between mental health and mental illness, and it requires reducing the stigma of talking about these topics. Mental health needs to be cared for and nurtured."

On Wednesday, 29 September at GSX, Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (MLEAD) honors the individuals who make our communities and world a safer place. As a thank you for your service, all law enforcement, military, and first responders receive a free one-day pass.

Highlights from sessions upcoming on Wednesday include:

  • Coaching: Building and Maintaining Teams Theater: Deescalating Conflict: Creating Critical Space Between Initial Encounter and Physical Response, 10:00 am ET
  • Defensive Strategies: Surviving the Unexpected Theater: Six Fundamental Questions That Identify At-Risk Individuals on Their Pathway to Violence, 2:00 pm ET
  • Future Plays: Navigating the Changing Landscape Theater: New Cannabis Security Guide, 11:30 am ET
  • Game Plans: What's Next for Security Theater: Protests, Civil Liberties, Tactics, Tools, and Security Risk Mitigation Lessons Learned, 11:30 am ET
  • Highlight Reel: Best Practices Theater: A Case Study in a Year of Crisis and a Year of Opportunities, 11:30 am ET
  • Offensive Strategies: Preparing for an Attack Theater: Hidden Threats: Domestic Violence and Its Impact on the Workplace, 10:00 am ET

For more information about the GSX experience and to register, visit


About Global Security Exchange (GSX)

Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the world’s most comprehensive event for security professionals for more than 65 years. Meeting the needs of the global security community, ASIS designed an in-person and digital experience like none other in the security profession. ASIS International remains dedicated to expanding and enriching knowledge sharing, best practices, and peer-to-peer connections so security professionals across disciplines—and at all stages of their career—can get access to the information and resources they need to succeed. For information about GSX, please visit

About ASIS International

Founded in 1955, ASIS International is the world's largest membership organization for security management professionals. With hundreds of chapters across the globe, ASIS is recognized as the premier source for learning, networking, standards, and research. Through its board certifications, award-winning Security Management magazine, and Global Security Exchange—the most influential event in the profession—ASIS ensures its members and the security community have access to the intelligence and resources necessary to protect their people, property, and information assets. Learn more about the work we do at