Metals are the backbone of manufacturing owing to their strength and formability. Compared to polymers they have high mass density. There is, however, one exception: magnesium. It has a density of only 1.7 g/cm3, making it the lightest structural material, 4.5 times lighter than steels, 1.7 times lighter than aluminum, and even slightly lighter than carbon fibers. Yet, the widespread use of magnesium is hampered by its intrinsic brittleness. While other metallic alloys have multiple dislocation slip systems, enabling their well-known ductility, the hexagonal lattice of magnesium offers insufficient modes of deformation, rendering it intrinsically brittle. We have developed a quantum-mechanically derived treasure map which screens solid solution combinations with electronic bonding, structure and volume descriptors for similarity to the ductile magnesium-rare earth alloys. Using this insight we synthesized a surprisingly simple, compositionally lean, low-cost and industry-compatible new alloy which is over 4 times more ductile and 40% stronger than pure magnesium. The alloy contains 1 wt.% aluminum and 0.1 wt.% calcium, two inexpensive elements which are compatible with downstream recycling constraints.