Emerging economies are striving to fortify their institutions, in order to achieve economic growth. However, they are still prone to exogenous shocks. When uncontrollable scenarios overwhelm the capacity to adapt, the institution is in a turbulent field. This paper presents an introductory analysis of public institutions in the Pacific Alliance i.e. Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. It evaluates current strategic planning and also inquiries into the practice of scenario planning, or what existent elements that favor the foresight narrative. Through a comparative analysis of public institutions, it finds that the use of communication and the social process of planning are useful existent elements. Nevertheless, the focus on one future - which is usually circumscribed to the government agenda - limits the capacity of future building to challenge status-quo thought. This paper holds practical implications for political actors and contributes to the theory of planning in turbulent fields.